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Australian Immigration Fact Sheet 72. Commonwealth Prescence in the Torres Strait

The Australian Government is firmly committed to ensuring the integrity of Australia's borders and to the effective control and management of the movement of people to and from Australia.

In this context the Torres Strait posses a unique challenge. The Torres Strait lies off the far north-eastern tip of Australia and is a 150 kilometre wide passage between Cape York Peninsula and the southwest coast of Papua New Guinea. It comprises a series of 100 islands, reefs and cays approximately 22 inhabited by about 8000 people. Thirteen of these inhabited islands are located within the Protected Zone. Thursday Island, which is about 25 kilometres from the Australian mainland, is the government administrative centre for the Torres Strait.

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Treaty between Australia and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea

DESIRING to set down their agreed position as to their respective sovereignty over certain islands, to establish maritime boundaries and to provide for certain other related matters, in the area between the two countries including the area known as Torres Strait; RECOGNISING the importance of protecting the traditional way of life and livelihood of Australians who are Torres Strait Islanders and of Papua New Guineans who live in the coastal area of Papua New Guinea in and adjacent to the Torres Strait;

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Gary Williams remembers the Aborigine referendum



In 1967, Australians voted to include Aborigines and Torres Straits Islanders on the national census. Gary Williams remembers what it meant to a 21-year-old Aborigine living in Sydney.

Aborigines & Torres Strait Islanders in 1960s Australia

Aborigines & Torres Strait Islanders in 1960s AustraliaBy the 1960s European occupation of Australia had had a profound impact on Aboriginal and Torres Stait Islander people. From 1788, indigenous resistance had been widespread, protracted and in some areas extremely effective, but over time spears proved no match for the guns, disease and terror tactics of the invaders.

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Program Overview: Native Title

tsraIt is anticipated that by the end of 2010 all native title claims over land in the Torres Strait will be finalised. At this point, it is uncertain as to when the Regional Sea Claim will be finalised, however it is anticipated that the Federal Court will make a determination by the end of 2010. A mediated determination ...

To be recognised as an organisation providing high quality and culturally appropriate professional services to Native Title Holders and claimants through consulting with and effectively assisting and representing Traditional Owners in the Torres Strait region in the performance of our functions under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

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Torres Strait Regional Authority

tsraThe Torres Strait’s commercial fisheries are the only resources available for the people in this region from which to build a real economy, yet the rights to most of these resources have been given away to people living in other areas of Australia and the traditional inhabitants are left with a welfare economy and all the disadvantages that this entails for Torres Strait society.

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