“We must look after our island, the way it has looked after us. The bosom of this land is our mother, and the water surrounding it is our father. We have to protect them, our islands our home”
– Yessie Mosby, Zenadh Kes Masig man and claimant

Torres Strait Islanders are on the frontline of the climate crisis, and urgent action is needed to ensure they can remain on their Islands. Right now, king tides, erosion, inundation and coral bleaching are threatening the homes and cultures of Torres Strait Islander people, while the Australian Government refuses to address the climate crisis.

Our Islands Our Home is a campaign led by Torres Strait Islanders to protect their island homes.

As part of this, eight claimants from Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands) also known as the #TorresStrait8 have brought a human rights complaint against the Australian Federal Government to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations over the Government’s inaction on climate change.


The claimants have five demands of the Australian Government:
  1. Fund adaptation programs that will allow Zenadh Kes communities to adapt to climate impacts
  2. Commit to going 100% renewables in Australia in the next 10 years
  3. Support Zenadh Kes communities to build community-owned renewable energy
  4. Transition away from fossil fuels as rapidly as possible through a just transition for workers
  5. Push the world to increase global ambition and keep warming to less than 1.5 degrees

Momentum is building in the lead up to the UN Human Rights Committee decision on the claim – expected in 2022. Since launching Our Islands Our Home:

  • More than 47,000 people have signed the petition!
  • Throughout 2021 and 2022, Torres Strait 8 members held meetings with Federal members of Parliament, urging them to support the demands of the campaign. With many MPs pledging their support, and in June 2022 a delegation from the new Federal Government visited Thursday Island and Poruma, meeting with representatives from the Torres Strait 8. This delegation was the first from the Federal Government to focus on climate change impacts for the Torres Strait, and included Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen, Assistant Minister for Climate Change Jennifer McAllister, Senator Jana Stewart, and Senator Nita Green.
  • The campaign has been covered extensively across First Nations, local, national and international media including ABC’s 7.30 Report, Harper’s Bazaar, the Sydney Morning Herald, the New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, NITV, SBS, Cairns Post, Torres News, and many more. 
  • The campaign has pulled off powerful collaborations showcasing Torres Strait Islander art and culture, including an exhibition at the Sydney Biennale, and joining with First Nations Fashion and Design for the closing show of Australia Fashion Week.
  • We’ve held powerful grassroots actions across the continent, including delivering more than 1,800 personally written postcards to member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch, delivering copies of a statement from Torres Strait Islander leaders to MPs in response to the latest IPCC report, and participating in town halls, forums and events.
  • Powerful acts of solidarity have taken place across the country. For example, Traditional Owners held a demonstration in Townsville, supported by the Tokelauan community. Pacific Climate Warriors held a “Sunday Kai” in Meanjin (Brisbane) for Torres Strait Islanders and students at Abergowrie College held a virtual rock concert.
  • Zenadh Kes artists such as Dylan Mooney and George Gabey have produced stunning artwork for the campaign whilst musicians like Chris Tamwoy and spoken word artist Endless Yarning have used their platforms to raise awareness.

Our Islands Our Home is supported by 350.org Australia, ClientEarth, the environmental law charity supporting the UN complaint, and the land and sea council Gur A Baradharaw Kod.