Bamaga SettlementPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

The monument commemorates the original settlers of Bamaga.

Bamaga, on the western side of the tip of Cape York Peninsula, was governed by the Bamaga Island Council until 2008, when it was amalgamated with three other mainland Aboriginal communities, and the island community of Seisia to form the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council. It was named after the Saibai Island elder, Bamaga Ginau (1893-1949) who led the settlement from the island to the mainland.

Torres Strait Islanders serving in World War Two armed services noted the better land available during their Cape York patrols, and, led by Ginau, the Saibai men persuaded their community to move off the island.

A small number moved to Muttee Heads, south-west of Bamaga, and flooding in 1948 persuaded another 250 to move. In July 1948 a government reservation was made for them, and in 1952 construction of the Bamaga township began. A hospital, school, store and houses were erected, with construction substantially completed by 1954. Orchards, market gardens and a sawmill were established, supplying local and Thursday Island markets.


Address:Adidi Street, Bamaga , 4876
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -10.886643
Long: 142.388585
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture


Front Inscription


Bamaga, a Torrest Strait Saibai Islander, led several hundred of his people in an exodus from Saibai Island to Cape York Peninsula in 1946.  Bamaga was Chairman of the Saibai Island Council and an outstanding personality amongst Torres Strait Islanders.  He died in 5th March 1949.

The people were first established at Muttee Head and later transferred to the present site where the township of Bamaga was established on an area of 97.620 acres : now known as the Northern Peninsula Reserve

"And so Bamaga came into being"

Erected in recognition of the original settlers by Bamaga community and Council

The site was blessed by Rev. F. Bowie, assisted by Rev. F. Fisher, and those present at the official ceremony were : -
Mr. C. O`Leary    Director of Native Affairs
Mr P. J. Killoran   Deputy Director of Native Affairs
Mr. G. Thomas   Superintendent
Tanu Nona         Chairman, Badu Island
Jim Mosby          Chairman, Yorke Island
Marau Mimi        Chairman, Saibai Island
Nadi Anu            Chairman, Muttee Heads
Jomen Tamwoy  Councillor, Cowal Creek
Pablo                  Councillor, Cowal Creek
Yessi Pearson    Chairman, Coconut Island
Tamwoy              Badu Island

By 1964 all the people had been moved from Muttee Head to Bamaga and the new community proceeded to develop under Nadi Anu as Chairman until April 1952,  Jerry Wasiu until February 1953, and Adikuiam Adidi from 1953 to this day, 9th. September 1972, being the day of the official unveiling of this memorial by : -

The Honourable Sir Alan Fletcher, M.L.A. Minister for Education and Cultural Activiites


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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