Healthy Communities

News & Resources

Regional Goal

To enhance both healthy communities and our living environment and achieve the provision of adequate, appropriate and affordable housing.

Programme Goal

The Healthy Communities Programme goals are:

  • to monitor and provide strategic policy advice to the Torres Strait Health Partnership and Integrated Service delivery partners to ensure that advances are being made in primary and preventative health care
  • to play a more direct role through the provision of funding and support to preventative health initiatives that will improve a healthy lifestyle and will link with the Environmental Management Programme to support local fresh food production
  • to be directly involved in making housing more affordable for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in the region.

a photograph of delivering the Strait Smile initiative in schools

Delivering the Strait Smile initiative in schools.

Programme Objectives

The Healthy Communities Programme component will:

  • seek to influence policy for all health programs across all tiers of government
  • monitor health services and health initiatives across the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area and provide strategic policy advice
  • direct support targeting healthy lifestyles, including improving availability of fresh produce and healthy food options, and encouraging people to undertake healthy activities
  • provide some direct support for home ownership.

Programme Deliverables

  • Secure whole-of-government investment for infrastructure to support healthy homes and healthy living environments.
  • Policies support community managed delivery of primary and public health care.
  • Services and are based on regional needs and priorities.
  • Improved access to affordable fresh and healthy foods.
  • More active and healthy communities.
  • Affordable home ownership available across the region.

a photograph of a new gym on Thursday Island

New gym on Thursday Island.

Programme Expenditure 2014 - 2015

Table 2-26: Healthy Communities Programme Expenditure, 2014 - 2015 (unaudited)

Budget
$’000
Actual
$’000
Variance
$’000
14,716 14,629 87

Torres Strait Development Plan Outcomes

  • Secure whole-of government investment for infrastructure to support healthy homes and healthy living environments.
  • Policies support community managed delivery of primary and public health care services and are based on regional needs and priorities.
  • Improved access to affordable fresh and healthy foods.
  • More active and healthy communities.
  • Affordable home ownership available across the region.

Programme Performance

Activity Flag Status
Support community health projects a yellow circle Five grants funded a range of community-based healthy lifestyle promotion projects, including health prevention, increased school participation, dental health and community health leadership projects. Two programmes included:
  • the Strait Smile programme, implemented in the Boigu, St Pauls, Mer, Warraber, Iama, Erub and Poruma communities
  • the Shadow Fitness Programme, delivered on Mer
Seawalls and landfill renovation projects a black circle Seawalls protecting the Saibai Cemetery were constructed and works on Poruma emergency coastal stabilisation have also been undertaken.
Major works planned for Saibai were progressed, while works at Poruma and Boigu were delayed.
Works at Masig, Iama and Warraber are scheduled for completion by 2016 - 2017.
The Healthy Communities Programme continues to work with the Torres Strait Island Regional Council, other regional councils and the Queensland Government Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning through the Major Infrastructure Programme management committee to address waste and landfill renovation issues in the region.
Sport and recreation activities (grants) a yellow circle The TSRA funded several local council infrastructure upgrades, including to the Thursday Island (TI) training facility at Ken Brown Oval and the TI stadium gym. Hammond Island received a shade sail for their outdoor basketball court.
The Torres Strait Youth and Recreational Sporting Association continued to administer sports subsidy funding throughout the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area.
Twelve major local sporting carnival events were supported.
Grants for 68 sport and recreation activities encouraged participation in a range of sporting and recreational events, including sports at state and national levels.
Sport and recreation participation rates in 2014 - 2015 were as follows:
  • in the 0-12 age group: 179 children
  • in the 13-25 age group: 834 young people
  • in the 26-54 age group: 1,057 adults
  • in the 55 years and over: 53 older persons
Total: 2,123 participants.
Support community horticulture projects (grants) a yellow circle The Healthy Communities Programme, in conjunction with the Environmental Management Programme landcare supervisor, provided technical support to four communities to maintain community gardens.
The TSRA also funded an environmental education officer role in Tagai State College.
The TSRA has embarked on the development of a three-year implementation strategy to improve people’s access to affordable, fresh and healthy food in the region. As part of the development of the strategy, the TSRA has engaged with key stakeholders, such as the local food supplier Islander Board of Industry and Services, to contribute to the strategy.
Waste feasibility support project a yellow circle A sustainable waste solutions awareness-raising project has been funded for a staged community awareness campaign to be delivered for Torres Strait inner islands (Kaiwalagal area).
A regional waste management implementation strategy, primarily driven at a regional level and involving three local government councils and the Queensland State Government, is being developed with support provided by the TSRA Healthy Communities Programme.
Horn Island Affordable Housing Project a black circle The Horn Island Affordable Housing Project is now at a stage where clearing of land and construction of serviced lots can commence; however, additional land tenure issues have emerged, which has led to delays in the construction of the subdivision of serviced lots.
The Torres Shire Council along with the Queensland Government is working with the TSRA Native Title Office to resolve these issues.
Major infrastructure projects a yellow circle Thirteen environmental health infrastructure projects will be delivered under the Major Infrastructure Programme – MIP5. These projects are underway and due for completion by December 2016.
Prince of Wales (POW) water service project (grant) a yellow circle A total of 49 water tanks have been delivered to residents on POW and surrounding communities – Friday, Entrance, Port Lihou and Packe islands.
A bore water drilling operation to locate emergency water to establish a well is underway on POW.
Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) water and waste management programme a yellow circle The TSRA continued its contribution to the TSIRC water and waste water management programme through 2014 - 2015 to ensure that services are adequately maintained for outer island communities.
TSIRC water testing project a yellow circle This project is being implemented in three Torres Strait communities. The TSIRC in-house water testing will be expanded to include all outer island clusters in 2015 - 2016, as part of ongoing improvements to water testing requirements for communities.
Ugar community access infrastructure project (grants) a black circle Several feasibility studies to address the all-tide access issue at the Ugar community have been undertaken. All have found that infrastructure solutions are cost prohibitive, and that reef dredging options may have significant adverse environmental outcomes. Due to budget constraints, non-infrastructure solutions will be investigated to resolve and improve community access outcomes.
Health promotion and community education projects a yellow circle Four healthy communities workshops, delivered by the TSIRC were held at Warraber, Erub, Boigu and Mer communities. The workshops built the capacity of 24 youths to change health outcomes for communities.
Legend
an open circle
Not yet started
a yellow circle
Completed / On schedule
a gray circle
Behind schedule less than three months
a black circle
Behind schedule more than three months

a photograph of rangers and community members sandbagging Dauar cemetery project

Rangers and community members sandbagging Dauar cemetery project.

Additional Programme Specific Performance Indicators

Indicator Flag Status
Increased access to fresh and affordable foods in Torres Strait communities. an open circle The TSRA is adopting a multi-pronged approach to address this need and has engaged with local fresh food suppliers to improve the range and quality of foods, talked with retailers about how to improve the delivery of food supplies to outer island communities and contributed to discussions to improve community-based gardening initiatives. Measures for this criterion are still being developed.
Increase in participation in structured sport, recreation and healthy lifestyle activities. a yellow circle The TSRA continued funding for sporting subsidies through its partnership with the Torres Strait Youth and Recreational Sporting Association. Ten major local sporting events were delivered and 43 grants for a range of sporting and recreational activities were approved. A total of 2,123 participants were supported in 2014 - 2015.
Increase in serviced land and infrastructure to support housing for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people. a gray circle The TSRA has partnered with the Torres Shire Council to deliver the Horn Island Affordable Housing Project. The TSRA has contributed funding to establish the subdivision and in-ground services for 24 housing lots. Issues with land tenure have delayed progress and the council is working with the Queensland Government and the Kaurareg Native Title Aboriginal Corporation to resolve boundary issues.
Legend
an open circle
Not yet started
a yellow circle
KPI achieved
a gray circle
KPI partially achieved
a black circle
KPI not achieved

PERFORMANCE MEASURES

  • Increased investment into new and existing regional environmental health infrastructure.
  • Increased access to fresh and affordable foods in Torres Strait communities.
  • Increase in participation in structured sport, recreation and healthy lifestyle activities.
  • Increase in serviced land and infrastructure to support housing for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people.

Figure 2-9: Healthy Communities Programme Map

Figure 2-9: Healthy Communities Programme Map

Case Study: Improving health and social outcomes through sport and recreation

The Torres Strait Regional Authority has funded the non-government organisation Torres Strait Youth and Recreational Sporting Association (TSYRSA) for the past 20 years. The TSYRSA manages low-value grants and distributes sports subsidies to sport and recreation bodies in the region. The TSYRSA has a strong foundation and established networks with sporting clubs and recreational bodies throughout the 16 inner and outer islands of the Torres Strait and in the communities on the Northern Peninsula Area.

In partnership with the TSRA, the TSYRSA is making a strong contribution towards closing the gap in health outcomes for the people of the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area.

The association has been responsible for, and proactive in, the promotion and implementation of a wide range of healthy lifestyle activities, sport and recreational activities and the allocation and administration of sporting funds throughout the Torres Strait region. The association works with regional sporting clubs, schools, sport interest groups and talented individuals with potential for state-level or higher representation.

Based on Thursday Island, the association has a range of resources (administration staff, office space, meeting space, access to computers and the internet) available to sporting and recreational bodies to assist them in planning and communicating events.

The TSRA conducted a performance review of all its major funded non-government organisations in 2014 - 2015. The review recommended that the TSRA should support additional governance and administrative training for the TSYRSA to assist them to build their organisational capacity to improve performance and prepare them for additional responsibilities.

The TSYRSA has now embarked on a 12-month work plan which is strengthening the organisation’s existing services. The work plan includes the formal establishment of a sport and recreational reference group to improve collaboration between stakeholders and streamline programmes that benefit the whole of the Torres Strait.

The TSYRSA contributes to the improvement of the health and wellbeing of Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people in the region. The organisation facilitates access to elite sports pathways and the participation of youth at state and national levels.

a photograph of Torres Strait representatives at School Boy Peninsula Rugby League

Torres Strait representatives at School Boy Peninsula Rugby League.

The TSYRSA has recently secured additional programme funding from the Queensland Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing. They have established a partnership with the region’s Community Development Programme (CDP) service provider, My Pathway, to secure a major renovation upgrade of the Thursday Island Water Sports Club, which will be used as a training facility for CDP participants and a community sports and recreation facility.

In partnership with the TSRA, the TSYRSA is making a strong contribution towards closing the gap in health outcomes for the people of the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area.

The TSYRSA has a strong foundation and established networks with sporting clubs and recreational bodies throughout the 16 inner and outer islands of the Torres Strait and in the communities on the Northern Peninsula Area.