Torres Strait District (Ext)


Badge Description

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Turtle & Dugong = Hunting for dugong and turtle are part of the traditional way of life and livelihood of the Torres Strait Islanders, which is a major source of protein in their diet.  These sea animals may only be taken in the course of traditional fishing or for ceremonial purposes.  Turtles are taken in all areas of the Torres Strait, whilst dugong are caught mainly in the western region.

Queen Conch shell = Found in the area

Coconut Trees = Grown as part of the local copra trade.  One of the islands is called “Coconut Island”

Sea & Sand = Islands

Type = Ribbon


The Torres Strait lies between Australia and the Melanesian island of New Guinea. It is named after Luís Vaz de Torres, who passed through the Strait in 1606, and was second-in-command on the Spanish expedition led by navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós who sailed from Peru to the South Pacific in 1605.  It was the first recorded European navigation of the strait.  There are at least 274 islands within the strait, of which 17 have present-day permanent settlements. 

Where scouting was concerned, the Torres Strait Islands were administered from Thursday Island, the Scout Association’s Torres Strait district was administered from Cairns.  The district was founded in 1967 following approaches by the Dept of Aboriginal and Islander Affairs to Branch HQ [1,2].  Scouting had originally been established on the Torres Strait during WWII but had lapsed.  In 1967 Field Commissioner Len Witham formed several groups on the Island.  In the same year a Torres Strait Jamborette was held on Friday Island.  In 1970, when the Torres Strait Group closed, Thursday Island Scout Group was attached to Branch HQ [2.3].


Torres Strait District Groups (1967): Murray Island Scout Group, Darnley Island Scout Group, Badu Island Scout Group, Coconut Island Scout Group, Mabuiag Island Scout Group [1].


  1. Scouting in Queensland (1967). “Scouting in the Torres Strait”. Vol 6 (1), February, p. 55.
  2. Fones, R. (1992). In the light of all the years. Toowong, Australia: The Scout Association of Australia-Queensland Branch.. p. 131.
  3. Scouting in Queensland (1970). “Warrant Changes”. Vol 10 (10), October, p. 20.