Awakening: Stories from the Torres Strait

"Awakening" seeks to reconnect the spirit between people and their objects.


Cultural Advice: Visitors should be aware that the exhibition and website may include names, images and voices of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is our intention to tell these stories and use imagery with good faith and with respect.

"Bringing the past forward, to create an understanding of the past for the future generations"

Uncle Thomas Sebasio, Elder, Erub Island

In the 1860’s the pearling industry began in the Torres Strait and marked the entry of the Torres Strait into the global economy.

Torres Strait Islanders, with their superior seafaring skills and knowledge of seas and seasons were essential to the pearling industry. Islanders played a major role in the development of the pearling industry in the Torres Straits.

Pearl and Trochus shells were gathered in large numbers to make buttons.
However, Islanders were also exploited. Pearling dealt a significant blow to traditional ways of life.

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