Governance and Leadership

Program Overview

Governance and Leadership Activities

Program Overview

The goals of the Governance and Leadership Program are:

  • 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 region.

To achieve these, the Program will work to:

  • Involve Indigenous leaders in legislative processes, policies and priorities in terms of setting direction for integrated planning and service delivery
  • Optimise and enhance TSRA Board Member decision-making and communication capabilities
  • Involve Indigenous leaders in integrated service delivery
  • Involve Indigenous leaders in monitoring progress towards reaching regional goals and outcomes
  • Encourage more women to seek leadership roles
  • Encourage mainstream services to contribute to and meet 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
  • Improve communication and information networks across communities
  • Grow future leaders for the community
  • Strengthen leadership within communities.

Governance and Leadership Activities

Board Support

The TSRA Board comprises 20 elected leaders representing all Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Communities in the Torres Strait and the Bamaga and Seisia Communities in the Northern Peninsula Area. The period of the current Board ends in September 2016. The election of the TSRA Board is overseen by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The Governance and Leadership Program in the TSRA is responsible for providing administrative and logistic support to the TSRA Board.

Torres Strait Treaty

The Torres Strait Treaty is a bilateral instrument established to delineate borders and jurisdictions between Australia and PNG. Under the Treaty, both nations have established a Protected Zone which provides administrative protection to the traditional way of life and livelihood of traditional inhabitants in the Torres Strait.

The TSRA Board is a key advisory body, providing input across a broad range of cross border issues. Members of the Board participate in an annual cycle of bilateral consultative meetings with both PNG traditional inhabitants and other officials, at the National, State and Provincial level. The TSRA continues to work closely with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ensure Torres Strait participation continues at meetings of Traditional Inhabitants, Treaty Liaison, the Environmental Management Committee and the Joint Advisory Council.

Support to the Minister

The Governance and Leadership team provides assistance to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion. The team conducts research into matters of interest to the Minister and provides draft responses for consideration by his Ministerial staff.

Integrated Service Delivery

The Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) Project, jointly implemented by the Governance and Leadership Program of the TSRA and the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs (DATSIMA), established Regional Plan Working Groups (RPWG) in 2009 comprising representatives of the three levels of government (agencies working in the Region). In 2011 the RPWG completed the mapping of all government services being delivered to Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Communities. This exercise also identified gaps to be addressed.

This service delivery mapping was then compared to the list of community needs and aspirations that were collected during the 2008 consultations that produced the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan 2009 - 2029 (This content is in PDF form 604 KB)

The resulting product was a set of Regional Plan Community Booklets - one for each Community (and a single one for NPA) - which show:

  • the needs the community expressed in 2008 and their status in 2012 (colour coded red, orange or green), thus showing progress in filling gaps in service delivery
  • the services delivered or available and accessible to the community and individuals across the Region
  • contact details for government departments, agencies and programs.

The community booklets will be updated in 2014.

The community booklets are accessed by the following links (note: each Booklet opens in a new window):

Torres Strait Island Regional Council:

Regional Plan Community Booklet Badu

Regional Plan Community Booklet Boigu

Regional Plan Community Booklet Dauan

Regional Plan Community Booklet Erub

Regional Plan Community Booklet Hammond

Regional Plan Community Booklet Iama

Regional Plan Community Booklet Kubin

Regional Plan Community Booklet Mabuiag

Regional Plan Community Booklet Masig

Regional Plan Community Booklet Mer

Regional Plan Community Booklet Poruma

Regional Plan Community Booklet Saibai

Regional Plan Community Booklet St Pauls

Regional Plan Community Booklet Ugar

Regional Plan Community Warraber

Torres Shire Council:

Regional Plan Community Booklet Horn Island

Regional Plan Community Booklet Prince of Wales

Regional Plan Community Booklet Thursday Island

Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council:

Regional Plan Community Booklet NPA

Further information on the booklets can be found here.

The TSRA is currently working with Australian and Queensland Government agencies to develop a bi-lateral ISD Action Plan (a list of actions) that will address remaining shortfalls in service delivery that are the responsibility of the two levels of government. It will as act a 'blueprint' for the Region and be a 'live' document, that is, it will be continuously updated as actions are completed or circumstances change.

If you have specific questions about the Integrated Service Delivery Project, please email the TSRA on: info@tsra.gov.au

Leadership Capacity Building

The Governance and Leadership team manages or sponsors the following capacity building initiatives for experienced and emerging leaders in the region:

  • Training Rural Australians in Leadership (TRAIL)
  • Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP)
  • Torres Strait Youth Leadership Scheme (TSYLS)
  • Torres Strait Women's Leadership Scheme (TSWLS) 
  • Assistance With Tertiary Education Scheme (ATES) Scholarships
  • OXFAM Indigenous Leadership Women’s Program (Straight Talk)

For more information on these opportunities, click here.


Regional Communications

The TSRA is the major sponsor for the Torres Strait Indigenous Media Association (TSIMA) which operates Radio 4MW and is the Remote Indigenous Media Organisation (RIMO) for the region.  The TSIMA sponsorship is managed by the Governance and Leadership Program.

There are 14 Regional Indigenous Media Services (RIBS) stations located in the region. The TSRA is working with both TSIMA and the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) to reestablish operations at all RIBS stations

 Public Affairs

The TSRA uses a contracted Media Services Provider to act as the interface for all media enquiries. The Media Services Provider is responsible for: 

  • Media liaison
  • Media Releases
  • Advertising
  • Promotional Material
  • Newsletters
  • Brochures
  • Chairperson Newspaper Columns
  • Talking Points
  • Speech Writing
  • The TSRA Web Site Content

 Annual Report

The Governance and Leadership Team coordinates the production of the TSRA Annual Report. The 2009 - 2010 and 2010 - 2011 TSRA Annual Reports received PAGE Awards for excellence in design and printing. The 2011 – 2012 TSRA Annual Report won the Highly Commended Award from the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA).