Palm Island, Queensland

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Palm Island, also known as Great Palm Island, or by the Aboriginal name Bukaman,[1] is an island with about 2,000 people living on it.

Names[change | change source]

The small town on the island has many names such as Palm Island, the Mission, Palm Island Settlement or Palm Community.[2]

Location[change | change source]

The island is 65 kilometres north-west of Townsville, on the east coast of Queensland, Australia. It is the biggest of the Greater Palm group of islands. It has small bays, sandy beaches and steep forested mountains rising to a 548 metres high.[3] Other close by islands outside the Palm group include Rattlesnake Island and Magnetic Island.

History[change | change source]

Palm Island is often called a "tropical paradise" because of its natural beauty, but it has had a sad past since Europeans arrived in Australia.[4] For much of the 20th Century it was used by the Queensland Government as a town for Aboriginals thought to be guilty of such crimes as being "disruptive", being pregnant to a white man or being born with "mixed blood".[5]

The community created by this history has had many problems and has often been debated about by political and social writers. Of major concern is a lack of jobs and housing.[2] Since it became a Aboriginal reserve, Palm Island has been a symbol of aboriginal hardship and violence.[6] At the same time it has been at the centre of political campaigning to improve the lives and treatment of Australia's Indigenous peoples as well as seeking people to recognise the bad history which lead to the Palm Island of today.[4]

References[change | change source]

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Footnotes[change | change source]

  1. Bindloss, Joseph (2002) page 330
  2. 2.0 2.1 Townsend, Ian (1 April 2007). "Privatising Palm Island". Background Briefing (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2007/1884420.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  3. Palm Island - The Place, Reconciliation and Social Justice Library (1996) Auslii website accessed 23 January,2007
  4. 4.0 4.1 Koch, Tony; MATP (4 December 2004). "BITTER PARADISE". The Weekend Australian. p. 19.
  5. Meade, Kevin (26 January 1998). "Cathy Freeman, island of despair's patron saint". The Australian. p. 4.
  6. Walker, Jamie (17 March 2007). "skin deep". Qweekend (Courier Mail). pp. 16-21.

Other websites[change | change source]

Articles produced by The Brisbane Institute think tank