Building up Badu Island

Mura Badulgal PBC will soon move into newly refurbished office space thanks to relationships between Community Owned Enterprises (COE), Torres Strait Regional Authority and the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

COE recently drew on the extensive connections built and nurtured across the Torres Strait region to facilitate the employment of ten Community Development Programme (CDP) participants as construction trainees in the $1 million Torres Strait Regional Authority refurbishment project of a former Badu Island childcare centre to create valuable office space for Mura Badulgal.

Badu Island construction trainees undertake a range of activities, removing cladding, de-nailing beams and learning to use construction equipment

The refurbishment includes a range of tasks, beginning with the removal of some of the existing fitout, as well as learning new skills and tools.


COE successfully secured funding within the Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SqW) program to provide the trainees with 26 weeks of paid employment while they earn their Certificate I in construction. The CDP provider Meriba Ged Ngalpun Mab supplied participants with personal protective equipment and COE equipped participants with toolkits to allow them to get straight into task-based as well as classroom-based learning with local training provider U.M.E Linx. The trainees developed a comprehensive range of skills and knowledge through an intensive four-week course before the work began in earnest. They even built a garden shed in a matter of days to practice and perfect their new skills.

The team with their garden shed, built as part of the intensive training provided by U.M.E Linx’s Joe Lui (back row 3 from left).


Eral (Daisy) Saub

To further highlight the numerous connections achieved within this project we are delighted to have Eral (Daisy) Saub employed as our lead on this project. Daisy was one of the eight women who took part in the very first Women in Construction Project in the Torres Strait, refurbishing the 4MW radio station building on Thursday Island two years ago. To be able to draw on her experience and skills developed through that project and her employment since, to lead and supervise this team is testament to the effectiveness of these programs.

The work continues on the new office space, and we are delighted to report that Paul Ware Constructions, the company hosting our trainees, intends to find ongoing opportunities for some of our ten participants on Badu and other Islands upon the completion of this project (which you can now read about here). Through these positions, the project will fulfil our objective to build better economic futures for the trainees, their families and for communities throughout the Torres Strait.



The ten Badu Island trainees with Apprenticeships Community’s representative Neville Johnston at their induction.
Back Row: Neville Johnston, Yathimo Kebisu, Bill Joseph, Ibegan Mene, Angelo Nona, Lewis Bani, Eddie Nona.
Front Row: Ray Baira, Didymus Morseu, Peter Gagai, Tom Baira.


This training is proudly funded by the Queensland Government through its Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.