Safe Communities

Welcome to the TSRA’s Safe Communities Programme.

The Safe Communities Programme recognises that if people are not safe in their homes and communities it is difficult to implement economic development, healthy lifestyles, environmental management and other initiatives. The TSRA, through the Safe Communities Programme, undertakes a leadership and support role to influence policy and contribute to the development and monitoring of standards for the provision of community social services.

The Safe Communities Programme also contributes directly to some public and community safety and accessibility outcomes through funding and support for targeted initiatives, including infrastructure or equipment (e.g. transportation related), and others focussed on awareness raising and capacity building (e.g. in emergency response). The programme also contributes funding to proactive and reactive social service providers implementing critical programmes, which includes support for capacity building and training initiatives. Specific programme outcomes, benefits and performance measures are identified in the Torres Strait Development Plan 2014-2018. 

Key Initiatives and Recent Activities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS)

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) is a community-based organisation established to provide professional and culturally competent legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Queensland.

The ATSILS works together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, key government and non-government stakeholders to manage the delivery of services in a professional, culturally competent and community-sensitive manner, to influence policy change, and to deliver high quality legal services for Indigenous people within or exposed to the justice system.

The TSRA funds this service through the Attorney-General’s Department.

Non-Government Organisation Support

The TSRA Safe Communities Programme provides operational funding to locally-based community organisations to deliver social support services in the region. Key community organisations supported include Mura Kosker Sorority and Port Kennedy Association.

Port Kennedy Association

Port Kennedy Association (PKA) is a non-profit organisation established in 1987 to represent the views of the very diverse community of the Port Kennedy area. The organisation exists to enable residents of the Port Kennedy area to have an active role in providing services that would otherwise be unavailable in the area. The organisation delivers a broad range of community and social services and liaises with key government and non-government agencies to achieve its success.

After School Care

The Port Kennedy Association After-School Care Programme runs throughout the school term, offering low cost child care services to the community for children aged 6-12 years. The Programme supports a range of healthy/safe, social, cultural and educational activities including homework support, story-telling, traditional weaving and outdoor sports.

Vacation Care Programme

The Port Kennedy Association Vacation Care provides free holiday care and programmes for children in the community aged 6-12 years. The Programme provides a range of indoor and outdoor developmental activities, as well as cooking and traditional arts and crafts facilitated by community artists and elders.

Port Kennedy Vacation Care is funded by the Queensland Government Department of Education and Employment.

Flexi Respite

The Port Kennedy Association Disability Service provides a Learning and Life Skills Development and Flexi Respite service to adults and children who have disabilities and their families within the Torres Shire zone. The service is available to creatively support people with disability to access their community’s leisure and recreational activities, such as the Torres Shire Sports Complex, Library and supermarkets, and to participate in community events. The Port Kennedy Flexi Respite service offers a combination of own home and host family/peer support respite, and day outings.

Port Kennedy Flexi Respite is funded by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

Mura Kaimel Playgroup

The Mura Kaimel Playgroup caters for Indigenous and non-Indigenous children aged 0-5 years, providing a range of healthy/safe, social and culturally-based activities.

The Mura Kaimel Playgroup is funded by the Queensland Government Department of Education and Employment.

Family Support Service

The general aim of the Family Support Service (FSS) is to assist families, offering practical support and early intervention methods for families of children that are vulnerable or at risk of entering the Child Protection System. The FSS aims to increase the protective factors for the child by:

  • Improving the parenting skills of the family
  • Improving the child/parent interaction skills
  • Strengthening the child’s family and support network

The FSS is funded by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

Recognised Entity Service

The Recognised Entity Service provides cultural and family information and advice to the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services in relation to child safety and concerns and placements.

The Recognised Entity Service is funded by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

Mura Kosker Sorority

Mura Kosker Sorority is a well-established regional women’s organisation situated in the Torres Strait providing a range of social services that meet the needs of women, children and their families. The organisation’s mission statement is to work towards uniting women of all ages in the Torres Strait, and to take steps to meet the social, emotional, educational, health, cultural, spiritual and welfare needs of women, children and dependents.

Domestic and Family Violence Counselling – Adult and Children Services / Children and Family Services

Mura Kosker Sorority provides services to the community for the safety of women in the community and their dependents in the form of:

  • an information/resource centre
  • support and assistance to those in crisis
  • community awareness/education programmes
  • counselling for victims and children who witness violence
  • legal aid

Older People Action Plan

The Mura Kosker Sorority Older People Action Plan aims to improve social participation in the community for older residents, by increasing their sense of safety and security and reducing fear of crime. The service is aimed at older residents residing in the Kaiwalagal region (inner islands) of the Torres Strait.

Torres Strait Healthy Aging

The Torres Strait Healthy Aging programme aims to deliver a health-focused programme, targeting a demographic of participants aged 60 years and older in the Torres Strait communities of Moa, Iama, Dauan and Erub.

Emergency Relief Funds

Members of the Torres Strait community may need immediate financial assistance in the event of an emergency. Mura Kosker Sorority may be able to assist in providing financial and/or material aid in these circumstances. Where direct assistance is not able to be offered Mura Kosker Sorority provides referrals to the appropriate organisations.

The Domestic Violence Counselling, Children and Family Services, Older People Action Plan, Torres Strait Healthy Aging and Emergency Relief Funds programmes are funded by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme is a component of a funding programme aimed at supporting the local transport infrastructure of regional, rural and remote communities throughout Queensland. Expenditure of TIDS funding in ATSI communities is the upgrade of transport infrastructure (roads, air and sea) to improve access to indigenous communities.

The TSRA’s Healthy Communities Programme administers funding on behalf of the Queensland Government for projects under the TIDS. These projects have significantly improved access to the remote communities of the Torres Strait, through improvements to transport and marine infrastructure.

Direct Grant Funding

The TSRA Safe Communities Programme offers grant funding for projects contributing to the Programme’s goals, including social services initiatives and initiatives contributing to safe and accessible communities. Recently funded activities include:

  • School-based Maritime Safety Project – Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

- To provide young children (pre-prep to Yr12) at schools throughout Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) with properly-fitted, high quality life jackets. The project is carried out in partnership with Tagai State College, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and NPA College.

  • Additional Operational Support – Port Kennedy Association

- To meet expenses associated with the extension of the existing office space, the purchase of a new bus to cater for children’s programmes run by PKA, and IT support and systems training

  • Ensuring a Strait Start – Torres Strait Islander Regional Educational Council

- Strait Start is an early intervention programme that offers early childhood and family support services for parents and families of young children aged 0-3yrs. Through these community-based services, parents and family members can access support, practical learning activities and information specifically designed to encourage and develop their knowledge and skills relating to children’s early development.

  • After-School Care Programme – Port Kennedy Association

- To provide low-cost after school care to children in the community, aged 6-12 years

  • Operational Social Support Service – Port Kennedy Association
  • Regional Hub Workshop – Port Kennedy Association

- To carry out stage 2 workshops in relation to social services/health service initiatives and improving outcomes relating to information, referrals, support and advocacy for vulnerable families in the region

  • Operational Social Support Service – Mura Kosker Sorority
  • Student Transport Bus – Torres Strait Kaziw Meta College

- To support the purchase of a new bus to transport students safely from college to various events around the community, and to cater for the increase in student numbers in 2015 as a result of the Queensland Government Flying Start initiative

  • Ailan Kreation Ripple Effect Programme – Mura Kosker Sorority

- To work with young people aged 13-21 years in developing tools to become positive, active members in communities throughout the region. The programme covers five areas – leadership, identity, future planning/development, pro-social modelling and cultural awareness

Publications and Links