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Badu Island
Queensland
Badu Island (Landsat).png
A satellite image of Badu Island
LGA(s) Torres Strait Island Region

Badu Island (Mulgrave Island) is an island 60 km north of Thursday Island, Queensland, Australia in the Torres Strait. Badu Island is also a locality in the Torres Strait Island Region, and Badu is the only town, located on the south-east coast.

This island is one of the Torres Strait Islands. The language of Badu is Kala Lagaw Ya.

History

Warfare, farming, fishing, canoe building, house building, turtle and dugong hunting and a host of other activities were the main occupations of Badu men until the 1870s. However, headhunting ceased with the adoption of Christianity.

Pearlers established bases on the island during the 1870s and by the early 1880s the islanders were becoming dependent on wages earned as lugger crew. At the same time, the first missionaries arrived. At the peak of the shell industry in the late 1950s, the Badu fleet of 13 boats employed a workforce of 200 providing work for many men, even from other islands as well. Once the shell trade declined, many people moved to the mainland for work

Badu Island State School opened on 29 January 1905.

On 1 February 2014 the Queensland Government handed over to the Badulgal traditional owners freehold title to 10,000 hectares of land on Badu Island, ending a struggle for recognition dating back to 1939. The title deed was handed over by Mr David Kempton, Assistant Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, to Badu Elder Lily Ahmat at a ceremony on the island.

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