This island is one of the Torres Strait Islands.
Badu Island once had a feared reputation as an island of headhunters. Warfare, turtle and dugong hunting were the main occupations of Badu men until the 1870s; turtle and dugong hunting continued after this.
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. However, once the shell trade declined, many people moved to the mainland for work.
The language of Badu is Kala Lagaw Ya.
Infrastructure on Badu Island consists of:
- Regional Council Office
- State School (Years 1 to 7)
- Health Centre with permanent doctor
- Two grocery stores
- Indigenous Knowledge Centre
- Post Office
- Centrelink Agency
- Football Field
A number of other locally owned run businesses are in operation at Badu including live seafood exports.
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