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Empowering our people · In our decision · In our culture · For our future

Our geography

TSIRC work with 15 outer island communities, reaching from the northern most point of Australia to the border of Papua New Guinea. Our communities are made up of diverse traditional language and dialect groups. 

The Torres Strait Islands are distributed across an area of some 48 000 km². The distance across the Strait from Cape York to Papua New Guinea is around 150 km at the narrowest point; the islands lie scattered in between, extending some 200 to 300 km from farthest east to farthest west.

The Torres Strait was formerly a land bridge which connected the present-day Australian continent with Papua New Guinea. This land bridge was submerged by rising sea levels forming the Strait which now connects the Arafura and Coral seas. Many of the western Torres Strait Islands are actually the remaining peaks of this land bridge.

The islands and their surrounding waters and reefs provide a highly diverse set of land and marine ecosystems, with niches for many rare or unique species. Marine animals of the islands include dugongs (an endangered species of sea mammal), as well as Green, Hawksbill and Flatback Sea turtles and saltwater crocodiles.

Geographically, the islands in the Torres Strait can be divided into four main groups: an eastern group of high volcanic islands; a central group of low sandy islands; a western group of high islands composed of volcanic and granitic rocks; and a northern group of low islands composed of mangrove muds and peats.

For more information, see: Work with us