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Moa Island (Queensland) facts for kids

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Moa Island
Location Banks Channel, Northern Australia
Archipelago Torres Strait Islands
Adjacent bodies of water Torres Strait

Moa Island, also called Banks Island, is an island of the Torres Strait Islands archipelago that is located 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Thursday Island in the Banks Channel of Torres Strait, Queensland, Australia.

This island is the largest within the "Near Western" group. It has two settlements, Kubin and St. Pauls, connected by bitumen and a gravel road.


Kubin is a community largely made up of the original Italgal, the Mualgal from north Moa, some of the Kulkalgal of Nagi, and the Kaiwalgal (Kaurareg) people, who were moved to Poid, on the southwestern corner of Moa Island in 1921. Poid was abandoned after World War II; one group moving back to their Narupai (Horn Island) homeland and the remainder moved southeast to Kubin under the leadership of Wees Nawia. Kubin residents retain their links with the Thursday Island, Bamaga and Cowal Creek (Injinoo) communities and with their help have established a number of business enterprises. Services in Kubin include an Ibis store, health centre, a school (Tagai College), RTC with Mualgau Knowledge Centre, post office, disability services, a childcare centre, police service, Mualgal Mineral Arts Centre and Torres Strait Island Regional Council office. Accommodation is run by the Kubin Torres Strait Regional Island Council. When visiting the community you can stay at Aka Babeth-Na Mudth (motel) and also dongas that are air conditioned.

St. Pauls is the other settlement on Moa. After the forced repatriation of Pacific Islander labourers, following the federal government's introduction of a restrictive immigration policy in 1904, the Queensland Government set aside a reserve on Moa's eastern shore for those who had married Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people. In 1908 the Anglican Church began developing St. Pauls Mission. They also established the St. Pauls Native Training College. A community council was established under the Torres Strait Islander Act 1939, and in 1985, the St. Pauls community gained ownership of their land through a Deed of Grant in Trust.


The language of Kubin is Kala Lagaw Ya (Muwalgau/Italgau and Kaiwalgau sub-dialects), while that of St. Pauls is Brokan (Torres Strait Creole), though many people are bilingual in Kala Lagaw Ya.

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