Gaurab Village Entrance Sign

“WHERE THERE ARE Torres Strait Islanders, there is a community.” Bill Stephens

Yam (or Iama) Island, where Gaurab Village is located, is one of the Bourke Isles, 100 km northeast of Thursday island, Queensland. Located in the Tancred Passage, it is one of the Torres Strait Islands. The name ‘Iama’ means ‘Turtle-backed Island’ in Kulkalgau Ya – the inidigenous dialect of the Western-Central Torres Strait language. With a population of about 338 (counted in 2001), the island measures about 2 square kilometres. Here you will find vine forests, mangroves, wetlands and sand spits.

Although the island’s inhabitants traded and had a seafaring background for uncounted time, travelling in sailing canoes, the people of Yam were fairly isolated from the outside worlds until after World War II. An airstrip was built in 1974 and it wasn’t until 1980 that the telephone exchange was connected.

The custom artwork on this village entrance sign was hand painted – wattle tree and bamboo, depicting the island’s vegetation and the sea, which is never far away. The text was hand carved and gilded with 23kt gold leaf. Since the sign is made of high density urethane, it will far outlast wood, because it is completely waterproof and insect-proof, and will not warp, split, rot or crack as wood is prone to do over time. The sign face and top trim are painted with Dulux Weathershield paints – engineered in Australia to be highly UV resistant with mineral pigment base, so this sign will be here for years to come, welcoming visitors to the island and the village.

Carved & Gilded
Flat Painted
Sign Size
49 " x 85 "