Governance and Leadership

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In 2013 the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) received an Excellence Award for Outstanding Partnership and Collaboration from the Australian Government Leadership Network (Queensland).

The award was won by the TSRA's Governance and Leadership Programme for the work undertaken in implementing the Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) project for the region.

The award recognises the outstanding performance and achievement by the ISD team in developing productive partnerships and collaboration that has helped solve a complex problem and provided substantial benefits and / or savings to a community, organisation or individual.

The TSRA Deputy Chairperson, Mr Aven Noah, said:

Integrated planning and service delivery is the keystone for the Council of Australian Government's Building Blocks for Closing the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage. The TSRA through the Governance and Leadership Programme is leading the way in the Torres Strait to establish a culture of collaboration between all levels of government and the communities we serve.

a photograph of 2013 excellence award

Between 2010 and 2011 the TSRA completed consultations in 20 communities, with three local councils, 13 Australian Government departments and agencies and 21 Queensland Government departments and agencies to develop an ISD Governance Framework, ISD Whole of Government Action Plan and 19 Community Report Cards.

Partnerships have been developed with the Australian and Queensland governments, the Torres Shire Council, the Torres Strait Island Regional Council and the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council to work together to improve the coordination of services throughout the Torres Strait.

a photograph of Receiving the excellence award (L-R) Charlie Kaddy, representing the Governance and Leadership team, Wayne See Kee, TSRA Chief Executive Officer, and Paul Flynn, Australian Government Leadership Network—Queensland

Receiving the excellence award (L-R) Charlie Kaddy, representing the Governance and Leadership team, Wayne See Kee, TSRA Chief Executive Officer, and Paul Flynn, Australian Government Leadership Network—Queensland.

Regional Goal

Effective, transparent self-government with strong leadership.

Programme Goal

To help maintain and improve the leadership and governance skills of current and future leaders of the Torres Strait to support development planning and coordination of integrated government service delivery in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area.

Programme Objectives

The Governance and Leadership Programme will:

  • involve Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal leaders in legislative processes, policies and priorities in terms of setting direction for integrated planning and service delivery
  • involve Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal leaders in monitoring progress towards reaching regional goals and outcomes
  • develop the capacity of current and future leaders across the region and support effective communication between the community and organisations involved in the region.

Programme Deliverables

  • Integrated Service Delivery – Monitoring.
  • Governance and Leadership Capacity Building.
  • Support to Torres Strait Regional Broadcasting .
  • Enhanced Support for Women and Youth in Leadership.
  • Support to Prescribed Bodies Corporate.
  • Support TSRA Governance Committees.

Programme Expenditure 2013 - 2014

Table 2-6 Governance and Leadership Programme Expenditure 2013 - 2014 (unaudited)

Budget
$'000
Actual
$'000
Variance
$'000
5,4765,505-29

Torres Strait Development Plan Outcomes

  • Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal leaders involved and monitoring effective Integrated Service Delivery.
  • Effective delivery of services contributing to regional goals.
  • Strong, effective, committed leadership and decision making that incorporates Aboriginal and Ailan Kastom and features women and youth involvement.
  • Effective communications and consultation on community matters between leaders, government organisations and community members.

Figure 2-5 Governance and Leadership Programme Map

a chart showing Governance and Leadership Programme Map

Governance and Leadership Programme projects and achievements
Project Name: Integrated Service Delivery monitoring

Project purpose

To ensure that Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) is being implemented as the normal mode of business for all agencies providing services to the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area.

Achievements for 2013 - 2014

Ten Torres Strait communities were included in the ISD monitoring activities. The basis of validating the effectiveness of service delivery remains the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan (2009 - 2029) ISD community booklets, which represent the baseline of services as reported in 2012. The community-based statistical information relating to the regional plan is refreshed every two years.

The 2012 baseline indicated that 1,619 service gaps were identified through the planning process in 2008 - 2010. An audit conducted in 2013 found six duplications; these have been removed, adjusting the baseline to 1,613. Of these, 372 (23 per cent) were completed, 656 (41 per cent) were in progress and 585 (36 per cent) had not yet commenced, are not currently feasible or are identified as being a community or other non-government responsibility.

The 2013 - 2014 statistics incorporate changes in the data collected for 10 (of 19) communities. These were: Erub, Badu, Boigu, Ugar, Warraber, Kubin, Masig, Mer, St Pauls and Poruma. The remaining communities will be updated in 2014 - 2015.

The current status is that 773 (48 per cent) have been completed, 382 (24 per cent) are in progress and 309 (19 per cent) have not yet commenced. During the review, 149 items (9 per cent) were identified as not feasible or being a commercial or other non-government responsibility.

Over 20 cross-government and cross-agency projects were undertaken in the region in 2013 - 2014. Examples included:

  • Alignment of the Remote Jobs and Communities Programme activities and Community Action Plans to the service gaps identified in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan (2009 - 2029) ISD community booklets. My Pathways (the RJCP provider) is working with a number of community organisations and service delivery agencies to coordinate the delivery of services and infrastructure.
  • The Torres Strait Marine Pathways Project is delivering industry-specific training and job placements in the Torres Strait. The project is a collaborative effort between the TSRA, the Department of Environment and Sustainability and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
  • The Torres Strait Social Services Hub is being formed with the assistance of the TSRA, the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs and the Port Kennedy Association (the lead non-government organisation (NGO) for the project). The hub will connect all NGOs to coordinate the services they deliver, reduce duplication and address any gaps in service delivery.
Project Name: Governance and leadership capacity building

Project purpose

To deliver leadership, governance and capacity-building initiatives for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal persons and / or organisations within the Torres Strait region.

To increase the governance and leadership capacity of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal women and youths in the region.

Achievements for 2013 - 2014

The TSRA sponsored Ms Chè Stow to attend the Australian Rural Leadership Programme (ARLP) course number 21. Ms Stow will complete this programme in 2015. Mr Kenny Bedford, the TSRA Member for Erub and Portfolio Member for Fisheries, was the sponsored student for course number 20. Mr Bedford has completed four of the five course modules and has deferred module five. Mr Bedford will complete the programme in 2015.

The TSRA sponsored four participants in the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation's Training Rural Australians in Leadership programme and three participants in the Torres Strait Youth Leadership Programme.

The TSRA is sponsoring seven undergraduates to undertake university studies through the Assistance with Tertiary Education Scheme .

 

Governance and Leadership Programme projects and achievements
Project Name: Enhanced support for women in leadership

Project purpose

To increase the role of women in governance activities through the region.

Achievements for 2013 - 2014

The TSRA sponsored 28 women to participate in the Oxfam 'Straight Talk' Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's regional forum, held in the Torres Strait.

A new women's leadership programme has been developed in partnership with the ARLP. This programme is specifically targeting Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal women residing in the Torres Strait to prepare them for senior leadership roles and public office. The first module will commence in September 2014 with an intake of seven women.

Project Name: Support TSRA governance committees

Project purpose

To support the effective governance of the TSRA.

Achievements for 2013 - 2014

Four board meetings were conducted in 2013 - 2014. The June 2014 meeting conducted at the Mer community (Murray Island) was the first Board meeting to be held at an outer island community. This meeting coincided with the celebration of Mabo Day 2014.

The TSRA Board considered 118 papers, of which 42 were decision papers and 76 were for noting or information. Throughout 2013 - 2014 Board Members were provided with copies of the draft Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (PGPA) rules for comment as they were released.

The Board Executive Committee, comprising the Chairperson and Portfolio Members, participated in a three-day strategic planning workshop with the Chief Executive Officer and programme managers. The workshop set the strategic direction and project priorities for the TSRA for 2014 - 2015. Governance training relating to the TSRA's legislation and the Board charter was also provided during this workshop. The workshop is an annual event.

The TSRA Board was involved in all phases of the writing and production of the Torres Strait Development Plan (2014 - 2018), from the determination of the programme structure and mandates through to clearance of the final report for consideration by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

The Board met with other elected leaders, Traditional Owners and elders in the region to consult on matters of regional autonomy, the formation of a new sea and land council and representation on Protected Zone Joint Authority fisheries committees. These consultations informed Board decision-making and regional policy settings on those issues.

The Board commissioned reports on the effectiveness of TSRA's Community Economic Initiatives Scheme (CEIS), which provides economic assistance grants to individuals and Indigenous corporations, and on the effectiveness of delivery and outcomes from the non-government organisations supported by the TSRA to deliver social services in the region.

Delivery of Benefits: Torres Strait Development Plan

Influence

The TSRA Chairperson, supported by the Portfolio Members and other Board Members, participated in 29 meetings with Government Ministers and senior departmental officials. These meetings help ensure that matters of relevance and importance to Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in the region are being taken into account for new policies and service delivery. A number of these meetings are described in Section 1 of this report, in the Chairperson's Message.

Short-term benefit description
Greater influence by elected Indigenous leaders in policy direction and performance monitoring of government service delivery in the Torres Strait.
Benefit targetProgressCOAG target
TSRA Chairperson and Executive Members participate in 16 senior government and ministerial level meetings per annum.The target was exceeded (29 meetings)COAG Target 1 –Close the life expectancy gap within a generation.
COAG Target 6 –Halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

Service delivery policy

The TSRA, in partnership with the Queensland Government Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs, is leading the implementation of Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) in the region. ISD is described under the ISD monitoring project, earlier in this section. The TSRA community visit programme focuses on improving community understanding of the responsibilities of each level of government, the private sector and the community itself in meeting community needs and aspirations.

Short-term benefit description
Improved understanding of service delivery in the Torres Strait informing policy direction for Integrated Service Delivery.
Benefit targetProgressCOAG target
A service map showing all services delivered in the Torres Strait, highlighting gaps, duplications and inefficiencies.
Analytical report on service delivery and community satisfaction delivered to the signatories to the Regional Plan.
Integrated / Regional Service Delivery Meetings held.
The service map has been completed.
A culture of service integration is being embedded in the region. The TSRA has aligned its grants programme to place a higher weighting on activities delivered through partnerships and with direct connection to the service needs documented in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan (2009 - 2029) ISD community booklets.
COAG Target 1 –Close the life expectancy gap within a generation.
COAG Target 6 –Halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

Prescribed Body Corporate compliance

The status of Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) has been covered at the beginning of section 2 of this report under 'Portfolio Budget Statements Key Performance Indicators'. The following table is provided for ease of reference to the benefit statements in the Torres Strait Development Plan (2013 - 2014).

Short-term benefit description
Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) have the capacity to manage their responsibilities effectively.
Benefit targetProgressCOAG target
Twenty registered PBCs are compliant with the legislation.The target was achieved. The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations has determined that 20 PBCs remained compliant with their general reporting obligations.COAG Target 1 –Close the life expectancy gap within a generation.
COAG Target 6 –Halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.

a photograph of Governance and Leadership Programme workshop, Bamaga, May 2014

Governance and Leadership Programme workshop, Bamaga, May 2014.

Case Study: Leadership Capacity Building

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) offers a suite of leadership capacity-building initiatives delivered through the Governance and Leadership Programme for Indigenous residents of the Torres Strait region. Two of these initiatives are the Torres Strait Youth Leadership Scholarship (TSYLS) and the Training Rural Australians in Leadership (TRAIL) programme. These programmes are delivered in partnership with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF). This is the fourth year of the TSRA's partnership with the ARLF.

Torres Strait Youth Leadership Scholarship

The TSYLS has been designed specifically for 18- to 25-year-old Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people living in the Torres Strait to equip them with key leadership skills that they can use in both their professional and personal lives.

a photograph of Ms Megan Matthew

Ms Megan Matthew.

One of the recent participants in the TSYLS scheme is Ms Megan Matthew, who comes from Boigu Island in the top western cluster of the Torres Strait. Ms Matthew is keen to pursue a career in the Royal Australian Navy and has completed the Defence Indigenous Development Programme administered by the Department of Defence, the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and the Northern Territory Department of Education. She participated in the TSYLS scheme to gain exposure to a range of activities and real-life situations that not only bring out key leadership attributes, but also challenge participants to expand their limits and capabilities. The programme has given Ms Matthew an introduction to the attributes of effective leadership. She hopes to build on her newly acquired skills once she commences her training with the Royal Australian Navy. Ms Matthew's goal is to serve on an Australian warship as a Naval Officer.

Training Rural Australians in Leadership

The TSRA administers the TRAIL programme in partnership with the ARLF. The TRAIL programme targets mature candidates who are emerging leaders or new to leadership roles. The key focus areas of the programme include team and leadership development, effective communication, conflict management, advocacy, governance, personal influence, strategic planning and problem solving.

a photograph of Ms Elsie Seriat

Ms Elsie Seriat.

The TSRA sponsored four positions on the TRAIL programme. Thursday Island resident Ms Elsie Seriat has successfully completed the programme. Ms Seriat is already a role model in the region through her various sporting achievements and she was one of the drivers behind the establishment of women's rugby league in the Torres Strait. Ms Seriat has used her experienced on the TRAIL programme to build on her leadership qualities. She describes her experience on the programme as inspiring and life changing!

Allowing me to undertake this opportunity has given me energy to accomplish many of my goals that I thought I could never reach. Engaging in an environment with different people with different qualities gave me the opportunity to really set out my future. One of my short term goals was to be selected in the Indigenous Marathon Programme to run in New York. The TRAIL programme had a huge impact on my decision to compete in New York. Thank you to the TSRA and the TRAIL programme for bringing out my hidden abilities where I can now truly see that there are no limits to be successful.

After completing the TRAIL programme, as indicated in the quote, Elsie participated in a trial for the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) and was one of two Torres Strait Islanders selected from the region. Former Australian Marathon Champion Mr Rob De Castella plays a lead role in the IMP. Elsie is one of the region's TRAIL candidates who have progressed to higher levels in their chosen fields after completing the programme.

a photograph of TSRA Board and staff, Mer, June 2014

TSRA Board and staff, Mer, June 2014.