Cultural Awareness

The Palm Island Group is home to the traditional owners, the Manbarra people – (Mun-burra) and the indigenous Bwgcolman people and their descendants that were sent to the Palm Island mission from a number of communities around Queensland.

Council Protocols

Council requests that government agencies respect the Mayor and Councillors by providing appropriate notice when requesting meeting or visits to Palm Island.  This allows Council to ensure it is able to provide adequate engagement on issues of importance to the community.

Due to Palm Island having limited air and sea services, particularly on weekends agencies should also be mindful of the timing of meeting request where they are to be held off the Island. 

Agencies seeking meetings or information in relation to Council should phone the Council office on  07 4770 0200 or email

Visiting the Community

Each of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is culturally unique.

It is important to remember, however that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in all parts of the State and public servants should be aware of this when engaging with any Queensland Indigenous community.

The protocols outlined in the document attached below are considered a minimum requirement for all Queensland Government officers who work with and/or live on Palm Island, and visitors travelling to and from Palm Island, who are all encouraged to learn more about our culture and history by actively interacting with community members.

Acknowledging the uniqueness of a community and endeavouring to understand its history and culture will assist in building meaningful and respectful relationships.

View Protocols

Special Days for the Palm Island Community

The Palm Island community celebrates Bwgcolman Day to honour and respect those in the community that were brought to Palm from their homeland and remembers Strike 57 Day for struggles the community endured with work and pay conditions.

Find out more history