Governance and Leadership

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Regional Goal

Effective, transparent self-government with strong leadership

Program Goals

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.

Component Objectives

The Governance and Leadership Program 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.
Program Deliverables
  • Integrated Service Delivery – Implementation
  • Governance and Leadership Capacity Building
  • Support to Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Broadcasting
  • Enhanced Support for Women in Leadership
  • Support to Prescribed Bodies Corporate
  • Support to the 2012 TSRA Board Election
  • Support TSRA Governance Committees
A photocopy of the cover of the TSRA Board Charter

TSRA Board Charter.

Program Expenditure 2012-2013

Table 2-5 Governance and Leadership

Budget $'000's Actual $'000's Variance $'000's
6,215 5,860 -355

Torres Strait Development Plan Program 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
A chart illustrating details of governance and leadership

Governance and Leadership Program Projects and Achievements

Project Name: Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) Implementation

Project purpose

To contribute to the design and implementation of an integrated service Delivery (ISD) Framework for the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area.

Achievements for 2012 - 2013

Community-based statistical information relating to the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan 2009 - 2029 is collected every two years. The last activity was undertaken in 2011 - 2012 and indicated that of the 1,623 service gaps identified through the planning process in 2008, 369 (23 per cent) have been completed, 658 (40 per cent) are in progress and 596 (37 per cent) have not yet commenced, are not currently feasible or are identified as being a community or other non-government responsibility. An update on these figures will be available in the 2013 - 2014 Annual Report.

The draft action plan ISD in the region was completed in 2012 - 2013 and distributed to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs (DATSIMA). Sixteen Queensland Government agencies are involved in the delivery of services in the region. By the end of the reporting period 13 had responded to DATSIMA, providing commitment or comment on those extracts of the ISD Action Plan for which they have been identified as the lead agency.

The TSRA Board completed and endorsed the ISD Governance Framework at Meeting 85 in February 2013.

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 in the region.

Achievements for 2012 - 2013

The TSRA sponsored Mr Kenny Bedford, the TSRA Board Member for Erub and Portfolio Member for Fisheries, to attend the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP). Mr Bedford will complete this program in 2014. Ms Vonda Moar-Malone, the senior manager for health collaboration with the Medicare Local (Far North Queensland), completed the 18-month ARLP placement in 2013.

The TSRA sponsored three participants in the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation's Training Rural Australians in Leadership (TRAIL) Program. The TSRA sponsored seven participants in the Torres Strait Youth Leadership Program.

The TSRA is sponsoring six undergraduates to undertake university studies through the Assistance with Tertiary Education Scheme (ATES).

The TSRA has administered the Morey scholarship provided by Senator Susan Boyce, Senator for Queensland, to sponsor one Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal woman undergraduate to complete her tertiary studies. This scholarship is administered under the ATES Program.

The TSRA sponsored four women to participate in the Oxfam ‘Straight Talk' Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Summit in Canberra.

Governance and Leadership Program Projects and Achievements

Project Name: Support to Indigenous Broadcasting

Project purpose

To review the TSRA's contribution to communication services in the region to ensure that effective communication and consultation on community matters between leaders, government organisations and community members take place.

Achievements for 2012 - 2013

The TSRA sponsored the operations of the Torres Strait Islanders Media Association (TSIMA) for the provision of Indigenous Broadcasting services to the region.

The TSRA sponsored the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) to employ and train two Regional Indigenous Broadcasting Service (RIBS) operators.

The TSRA-appointed Grant Controller has delivered an assistance package to the TSIMA Board of Management to improve the governance and financial performance of the organisation. TSIMA is working towards the implementation of all 29 recommendations from the Regional Communications Review, including four key recommendations on governance and financial management. TSIMA has secured ongoing funding to operate the regional broadcasting service, Radio 4MW, and to perform its role as the Regional Indigenous Media Organisation for the coordination and support of community-based Regional Indigenous Broadcasting Services. TSIMA and TSIRC will work together to develop a regional broadcasting plan to reactivate four Torres Strait RIBS stations per year over the next three years.

Project Name: Enhanced Support for Women in Leadership

Project purpose

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

Achievements for 2012 - 2013

The TSRA and Oxfam are working in partnership to build leadership capacity for women. In 2012 the TSRA sponsored Oxfam to visit the region to deliver training for 20 Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal women. In June 2013 the TSRA sponsored the attendance of four women at the ‘Straight Talk' Summit in Canberra. The TSRA is working with local women's organisations to develop a visiting speaker program for successful women to deliver one-day seminars in the region. The speaker program will commence in the latter part of 2013.

Governance and Leadership Program Projects and Achievements

Project Name: Support to Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC)

Project purpose

To build the capacity of Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) so that they require less assistance from the TSRA, with a view to becoming more accountable for their own affairs.

Achievements for 2012 - 2013

The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) has determined that all 20 PBCs in the region either are compliant with the requirements or have been granted exemptions for specific compliance issues.

The TSRA's PBC capacity-building grant facility has provided assistance and administrative support funding to 10 PBCs in the region since its inception in 2011 - 2012. Six PBCs were supported in 2012 - 2013. These are:

  • Daunalgaw (Torres Strait Islanders (TSI)) Corporation Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate (RNTBC)
  • Erubam Le Traditional Land and Sea Owners (TSI) Corporation RNTBC
  • Kulkalgal (TSI) Corporation RNTBC
  • Mer Gedkem Le (TSI) Corporation RNTBC
  • Kaurareg Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
  • Porumalgal (TSI) Corporation RNTBC

The TSRA has helped to coordinate PBC Support services to the region by working with the five agencies involved in delivering these services. Biannual coordination meetings are held between:

  • the TSRA
  • the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)
  • the Aurora Project
  • the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
  • ORIC.

Project Name: Support to the 2012 TSRA Board Election

Project purpose

To facilitate the conduct of an election for the TSRA Board in 2012.

Achievements for 2012 - 2013

The TSRA commissioned the Australian Electoral Commission to conduct a general election for membership on the TSRA Board. Five Members were declared elected uncontested as only one nomination was received for the communities of Hammond, Iama, Mabuiag, Seisia and Warraber.

Fourteen elections were held during the week preceding 15 September 2012, with the main polling taking place on 15 September 2012. Elections were held for Badu (3 candidates); Bamaga (2 candidates); Dauan (3 candidates); Erub (2 candidates); Masig (2 candidates); Ngarupai and Muralag (3 candidates); Mer (2 candidates); Port Kennedy (2 candidates); Poruma (2 candidates); Saibai (3 candidates); St Pauls (2 candidates); Tamwoy, Rosehill, Aplin, Waiben and Quarantine (TRAWQ) (6 candidates); and Ugar (2 candidates).

No candidate nominations were received for the September election in the Kubin community. A further election was conducted on 17 December 2012. Three candidates nominated for this election.

The TSRA has 20 directly elected Board Members.

Governance and Leadership Program Projects and Achievements

Project Name: Support TSRA Governance Committees

Project purpose

To support the effective governance of the TSRA.

Achievements for 2012 - 2013

An induction program was conducted for the newly elected TSRA Board on Thursday Island over the four-day period 29 October to 1 November 2012. This Program was conducted by Effective Governance, a privately owned advisory firm that provides expertise and assistance on corporate governance, strategy, risk and corporate sustainability.

The induction for the Member for Kubin was based on the Effective Governance package and was delivered by the Governance and Leadership team in January 2013.

Four Board Meetings were conducted in 2012 - 2013, including an inaugural Meeting for the new Board for the specific purpose of electing the TSRA Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and Alternate Deputy Chairperson. The Australian Electoral Commission conducted this election on 13 November 2012.

Three members were appointed to the TSRA Audit Committee at the inaugural meeting.

Two Board Executive meetings were conducted. Three Audit Committee Meetings were conducted.

Two Indigenous Fisheries Advisory Committee Meetings were conducted.

Other Project Deliverables – Non PBS

Project Name: Review the Role of the Native Title Representative Body in the Region

Project purpose

To determine the role that the TSRA would play in delivering the functions of a Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) after the expiry of current arrangements on 1 July 2013.

Achievements for 2012 - 2013

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs invited the TSRA to reapply to be the NTRB in the region from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015. The application was successful. The TSRA Board has determined that this will be the TSRA's last application for NTRB status and that it is time for this function to be conferred upon a Sea and Land Council in the region. The TSRA has informed the Minister that the Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council Torres Strait Islander Corporation (ICN 7689) has aspirations to apply to be the NTRB for the region from 1 July 2015.

The TSRA was successful in extending the level of engagement between Deloitte Access Economics and Native Title stakeholders in the region. The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA ) contracted Deloitte Access Economics to conduct a national review of Native Title Organisations. The TSRA worked with FaHCSIA and Deloitte Access Economics to conduct a regional forum with representation from all 20 Prescribed Bodies Corporate in the region and the TSRA Board. The forum was conducted on Horn Island on 10 July 2013 and outcomes will be reported in the 2013 - 2014 Annual Report.

Key Performance Indicators – Portfolio Budget Statements

Level of legislative compliance and measured change in capacity of Prescribed Bodies Corporate in the region

All 20 Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) in the region have met the minimum levels of compliance required by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC). All PBCs have submitted General Reports. Fourteen PBCs held Annual General Meetings (AGMs) within the reporting period. ORIC gave a further six PBCs an exemption to extend their AGM compliance period past the 30 November 2012 deadline and authorised one PBC to conduct its AGMs on a biannual basis. In 2012 - 2013 the TSRA developed a compliance and capacity-building questionnaire to systematically measure levels of capacity within PBCs to meet their obligations under both the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth). Data collection and analysis will be completed in 2013 - 2014 for inclusion in the 2013 - 2014 Annual Report.

The TSRA PBC Support Officer continues to work with all PBCs in the region to help them attain unqualified compliance.

Short-term benefit description

Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) have the capacity to manage their responsibilities effectively.

Benefit target Progress COAG target
20 registered PBCs adhering to / complying with legislation by 30 June 2011. The target was achieved in 2011 and maintained throughout 2011 - 2012 and 2012 - 2013. Effective governance underpins all six COAG targets for Closing the Gap in Indigenous Disadvantage.

Measured change in regional communications capacity

The Torres Strait Islanders Media Association (TSIMA) is a recipient of TSRA grant funding for the operation of the regional radio station 4MW which broadcasts to the Torres Strait Inner islands through a transmitter based on Thursday Island, and to the Outer Islands through the Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Service (RIBS). TSIMA is the Regional Indigenous Media Organisation for the Torres Strait.

The Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) is a recipient of TSRA grant funding for the operation of RIBS. There are 14 RIBS stations located on outer island communities within the Torres Strait.

Short-term benefit description

Improved relations and communication between communities, leaders and government.

Benefit target Progress COAG target
Achieve an improvement in community satisfaction with the coordination of government services. Radio 4 MW, operated by the Torres Strait Islanders Media Association (TSIMA), maintained the transmission of local programming at 168 hours per week.
The Torres Strait RIBS network reduced operations from four active stations to two stations.
The TSRA is facilitating a more cooperative working relationship between TSIMA and the Torres Strait Island Regional Council to revitalise the Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Service network in the region.
Effective communication underpins all six COAG targets for Closing the Gap in Indigenous Disadvantage.

Additional Key Performance Indicators – Torres Strait Development Plan

Integrated Service Delivery

Number of ISD Meetings Conducted

The TSRA adopted a new governance framework for Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) in 2012. The Integrated Service Delivery Steering Group was disbanded and replaced with the ISD Operations Committee. There were 18 ISD Meetings conducted in 2012 - 2013. These comprised 14 community-based meetings for the validation of the Regional Plan Community Booklets and four policy meetings with the Queensland Government and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) to progress the implementation of the ISD Action Plan.

Short-term benefit description

Greater influence by elected Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal leaders in policy direction and performance monitoring of government service delivery in the Torres Strait.

Benefit target Progress COAG 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.

Short-term benefit description

Improved understanding of service delivery in the Torres Strait informing policy direction for Integrated Service Delivery.

Benefit target Progress COAG 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 map has been completed.
Community consultations have been
completed to explain the Regional Plan
Community Booklets developed for every
community. The service mapping and analysis of service delivery on a community-by-community basis are contained in the 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.

Short-term benefit description

Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) have the capacity to manage their responsibilities effectively

Benefit target Progress COAG target
Twenty registered PBCs are compliant with the legislation. The target has been achieved. The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations has determined that there has been a full level of compliance or has endorsed exemptions. 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.