Between 1942 and 1945, Torres Strait Islander women experienced the fears and uncertainties of living virtually on Australia's front line during the Pacific War. Some were forcibly evacuated with their children to the mainland, where they found themselves still restricted as to where and how they could live. Others were left on their tiny islands, deserted in the end by government and church, despite the constant threat of Japanese advance through the Torres Strait.
Many of the women remember here that traumatic time: hiding from the bombers and watching the dogfights overhead, struggling to feed and clothe their families, and praying continually for the safe return of their menfolk and for peace again in their beloved island homes.
Dr Elizabeth Osborne's association with Torres Strait began in 1967. For five years she lived on Thursday Island and became the foster mother of several local children. She and her husband continue to share a vision for education in Torres Strait. Her writing expresses her desire for recognition of those Torres Strait Islander women whose wartime courage had gone undocumented.