The preservation of the area would be best ensured by teaching not only Islanders but also all Australians as much as possible of the traditions and customs of the Torres Strait Islands.
Have you ever read Ion Idriess's exciting novels, The Drums of Mer and The Wild White Man of Badu? These books, part fact and part fiction, are stories of the Torres Strait Islands, islands on our northern doorstep.
The Torres Strait Islands are Australian islands, inhabited by very loyal citizens of our nation -- a friendly, courteous, musical and cooperative people -- intent on following a way of life that combines a strong sense of cultural tradition with a desire to share in Australia's progress. You may have been fortunate to have read Margaret Lawrie's fascinating collections of Myths and Legends of Torres Strait and Tales from Torres Strait, which tell of the rich cultural heritage of the people of this part of Australia. Perhaps, too, you have been reminded of the existence of these beautiful islands and their people through the recent media coverage of the border dispute between Queensland and Papua New Guinea.
This book is an attempt to enlarge your knowledge and understanding of the people of Torres Strait, and make you aware of their magnificent environment and their unique culture. You must realize, though, that its contents only touch the surface of a gold-mine of information that awaits further research. Some opinions expressed in the book are those of the author and may not agree with others you will read or hear. One day, you may be fortunate enough to travel to this area and be invited to visit an island in the Strait. Such an experience would add living colour to the portrait these pages hope to paint for you.