Mornington Island


Mornington Island is the northernmost of 22 islands that form the Wellesley Islands group. The island is in the Gulf of Carpentaria and is part of the Gulf Country region in the Australian state of Queensland. The Manowar and Rocky Islands Important Bird Area lies about 40 kilometres to the north-west. Mornington Island is the largest of the islands, the largest settlement of which is Gunana on the south-west of the island.

The general topography of the island is flat with the maximum elevation of 500 feet (150 metres). The island is fringed by mangrove forests and contains 10 estuaries, all in near pristine condition. The population was estimated to be 1,007 in 2001 and most of the citizens live in the township of Gununa. Mornington Island is included in the Shire of Mornington local government area. Most of the islanders are Aboriginal.

Lardil (or Kunhanaamendaa) are the predominant clan group on Mornington Island and are the traditional owners of the land and surrounding seas. The Kaiadilt clan arrived more recently (1947) from nearby Bentinck Island, when that island’s water supply was contaminated by salt after a cyclone.

Flagship activities

  • In progress – Mornington Island native garden project – goal – collecting local native seeds and propagating them for distribution in community
  • In progress – Hairdressing Salon – goal – to open a commercially sustainable hairdresser on Mornington Island
  • Completed project – Foreshore regeneration project – open space parkland and erosion control measures

Mornington Island Posts

RISE Ventures Celebrates CDP Success

RISE Ventures is extremely proud of the work we are doing through the Community Development Programme. Partnering with local people, community and employers we are gaining real momentum and improving the lives of people who find work and build their careers. This is not an easy contract and we must engage with local communities to…

Mornington Island State School

Last week we hosted a number of classes from the Mornington State school who are learning about soil and plants.  It was an opportunity for hands-on learning, focused on soil production, plant cuttings and seedlings. Our supervisor was patient and engaged with each child, he has done a wonderful job and the community Garden is moving towards becoming a commercial…

RISE CEO Michael Hobday impressed by the work being done on Mornington Island.

On his recent trip to Mornington Island CEO of RISE Michael Hobday was impressed with the different projects being conducted as part of the Islands CDP program. He was particularly impressed with the beautification of the Foreshore project. Michael said: “ This is a fantastic project, it’s really making a difference to the look and…

Monsoonal Rain Doesn’t Dampen CDP Activities on the Cape

Wet season has set in so it’s been raining persistently in Mornington Island on the Cape over the last few weeks, but there’s still plenty of work being done as part of the RISE (CDP) Community Development Projects. Rise Activity Manager Qld and NT Robert Howard said: “The monsoonal season has meant that a number…