Mabuiag Indigenous Knowledge Centre

The Mabuiag Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC), named Ngalpun Ngulaygaw Lag Resource Centre, is the oldest IKC operated by Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC). It opened on 9 August 2002 and continues to provide library services to the island community.

Formerly known as Jervis Island, Mabuiag is located 100 kilometres north of Thursday Island and lies in the Napoleon Passage and Arnolds Passage of the Torres Strait. Like many of the islands in the Torres Strait, Mabuiag is home to people known as Melanesian Torres Strait Islanders. Archaeological excavations prove that people arrived on the island at least 7300 years ago. The Island itself is partly made of basaltic rocks, with some vegetation and mostly well-watered. Like the larger Moa and Badu Islands to the south, Mabuiag is part of the old, submerged land bridge that ran from Cape York to Papua New Guinea.

The IKC has partnered with State Library to deliver many programs and projects in the last 20 years. Two of these include Away with Words in 2008, and Culture Love held in 2010. Culture Love was a continuation of Away with Words and led to the creation of a digital story, retelling Amipuru, one of the myths recorded in Margaret Lawrie’s book, Myths and Legends of Torres Strait. In the Away with Words workshop, local children created artwork based on the Amipuru. In the Culture Love workshop, the children created clay sculptures, images, and recorded animated story in the local Kalaw Lagaw Ya (KLY) language.  


In 2002, the first Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs) were developed in partnership with then Aboriginal Community and Island Councils across Queensland. Seven IKCs were opened in 2002 with many more to follow over the years.

This year thirteen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Shire and Regional Councils will celebrate the role their IKC/s play in their communities, as libraries, meeting places, hubs and keeping places.

Exploring the collection

If you’d like to explore some of State Library’s collection items relating to Mabuiag, we have a few suggestions in the links below:


Anglican mission, Mabuiag Island is located north of Badu, Torres Strait.

Torres Strait Islands and Peninsula Missions. Official Tour, June 1934. His Excellency, the Governor visiting Mabuiag (Sir Leslie Orme Wilson)

Material relating to Margaret Lawrie and the Torres Strait Islands, including the book, Myths and Legends of the Torres Strait, which includes a section on Boigu Island.

The Mabuiag IKC is one of ten IKCs operated by the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) in partnership with the State Library of Queensland. The other IKCs are located at Badu, Boigu, Dauan, Erub, Hammond Island, Iama, Kubin Village, Poruma and Warraber. 


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