Stranger In A Strange Land
When his period of exile was over, Koiki decided not to to return to Murray Island.
In 1957, he jumped ship in Cairns and drifted into a series of labouring jobs; cutting cane, laying railways. the only type of work available to Torres Strait Islanders in Australia in the 1950s.
Fortunately, Koiki was not alone; he was one of thousands of the Islanders who left their homes, migrating to the Australian mainland in search of jobs.
It was Queensland's ever expanding railway system, 3,000 kilometres of line in the north alone, which enabled the Islanders to establish themselves.
They worked as fettlers, building and maintaining the line.
The islander migration
employment, James Cook University, language, Mabo, Edward Koiki, migration, pearling industry, Queensland, Torres Strait Islanders, World War 2
...the fastest railway line builders in the world...
James Cook University, Mabo, Edward Koiki, migration, Queensland, railways
Exile, 1952, language, Queensland
...I got bored...
employment, Mabo, Edward Koiki, railways, Townsville
... Koiki left me...
Cairns, employment, Exile, 1952, Kudub, George, pearling industry
Inside & Outside
activism, Mabo Case, Malo's laws, Meriam culture, Mimi, Marou, Passi, Reverend Dave, Torres Strait, Torres Strait Islanders
When I First Landed Here
exile, Mabo, Edward Koiki