Topic: Water for Remote First Nations Communities in Australia

The Torres Strait region is a region that stretches from the tip of Cape York Peninsula to the borders of Papua New Guinea.  

The region includes a group of about 274 small islands scattered over a geographic area of 48,000 km2. Not all islands belong to Australia–only those that lie within 60 nautical miles (97 km) north from the coast of Cape York. 

Culturally, the islands are divided into five groups, represented by the five-pointed star on the Torres Strait flag (source: TSRA18). 

In terms of local government administrative zones, the region is divided in three sub-regions where 18 island and five Northern Peninsula Area communities are located (source TSRA19 and TRSC20): 

  1. Torres Strait Island region; 
  2. Torres region; and  
  3. Northern Peninsula region 

 Torres Strait Island Region 

In the Torres Strait Island region, there are four traditional island clusters: 

  1. Northern or Top Western Group, which includes Boigu, Dauan and Saibai islands; 
  2. Western Group, which includes Badu, Mabuiag and Moa islands; 
  3. Central Group, which includes Yam, Warraber, Coconut and Masig islands; and 
  4. Eastern Group, which includes Murray, Darnley and Stephen islands. 

Torres Region 

In the Torres region, there is one traditional island cluster, the Southern or Inner Group, which includes Thursday, Horn, Hammond, Prince of Wales and Friday islands.

Northern Peninsula region (mainland) 

The Northern Peninsula is a region located on the tip of Cape York which includes five communities: Bamaga, Seisia, Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon. 

Out of the five communities, two are identified as Torres Strait Island communities, Bamaga and Seisa, and three as Aboriginal, Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon. 

 Torres Strait Councils 

The Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area includes three local government council areas: Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC), Torres Shire Council and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council (NPARC). 

The Torres Strait Islander flag 

The Torres Strait Islander flag, launched in 1992, symbolises the unity and identity of all Torres Strait Islanders. Its colours stand for: 

  • Green: the mainland of Australia and Papua New Guinea; 
  • Blue: the Torres Strait waters; 
  • Black line: the Torres Strait Islanders; 
  • The five-pointed star: the five island groups (Northern, Western, Southern, Eastern and Central Islands); 
  • White: Christianity and peace; and 
  • Dhari head dress: represents Islanders and their customs. 

Extracted from: Creative Spirits, Torres Strait Islander culture, retrieved from: and Torres Strait Regional Authority, Torres Strait flag, retrieved from: