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Indigenous Voice report supports Torres Strait representation from the region and mainland Australia

Left to right – Alternate Deputy Chair for TSRA and Member for St Pauls John Paiwan, Indigenous Voice Senior Advisory Group Co-chair Professor Tom Calma AO, Member for Warraber Iris Billy, Member for Badu Horace Baira and Indigenous Voice National Co-design Group Co-chair Dr Donna Odegaard AM in May 2021.

Indigenous Voice report supports Torres Strait representation from the region and mainland Australia

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) has welcomed the public release of the Indigenous Voice Co-design Process Final Report to the Australian Government – including recommendations to ensure Torres Strait Islanders from the Torres Strait and mainland Australia are represented.

The Final Report proposes National Voice membership include two members from the Torres Strait, plus an additional member living on the mainland to represent Torres Strait Islanders.

TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM said the TSRA was among thousands of people, communities and organisations involved in the co-design process to develop models and options for an Indigenous Voice and to enhance local and regional decision-making.

“The TSRA supports the Indigenous Voice proposal as a mechanism that will allow Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people to influence legislation and policy decisions that directly impact their communities,” Mr Stephen said.

“The TSRA Board met with the Indigenous Voice National Co-design Group Co-chair Dr Donna Odegaard AM and Senior Advisory Group Co-chair Professor Tom Calma AO in 2021.

“Our submission highlighted the need for representation of Torres Strait Islanders living in the region, but also on the mainland and their distinct cultures, experiences and aspirations.

“More than 50,000 people on the mainland identify as Torres Strait Islander or Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal, including significant populations in Queensland and Western Australia.

“I am pleased the Final Report builds upon views shared in community consultation, including advocacy by the TSRA Board,” he said.

Mr Stephen said the proposed membership approach would help ensure equity and inclusivity to represent the diverse perspectives of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal peoples.

“The TSRA welcomes opportunities which support the voices of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people across our region and nation, including in work as important as an Indigenous Voice,” he said.

For more information about the Indigenous Voice Co-design Process Final Report to the Australian Government visit https://voice.niaa.gov.au/final-report

Learn more about the TSRA at www.tsra.gov.au

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.