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Torres Strait voice on road to referendum

Thursday Island-based member: TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) congratulates Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM on his appointment to the Referendum Working Group.

Mr Stephen is among First Nations representatives from across the country tasked with establishing the path towards a referendum on the Voice to Parliament.

Based on Waiben (Thursday Island), Mr Stephen today (Friday 9 September) met with his counterparts, Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese via video conference.

“It is an honour to join this dedicated group of leaders with a shared commitment to elevating the voices of all First Nations people,” Mr Stephen said.

“From starting my career as biosecurity officer and in the Navy, to a mayor and now chairperson, my motivations have always remained the same – to serve and represent the people of the Torres Strait,” he said.

“This year we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Torres Strait Islander flag, Mabo Day and 85 years since the First Councillors Conference on Masig.

“We must build upon the advocacy of our ancestors and achievements of the past to bring about further change for our people and our region.

“We are at a turning point in our nation’s shared history – it is our time,” he said.

The group will work with government to determine the timing for a successful referendum, refine the proposed question and the public information needed for it to pass.

Background:

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) is an Australian Government Statutory Authority established on 1 July 1994 under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989, which is today known as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Act 2005.

The Torres Strait region includes the Northern Peninsula Area communities of Bamaga and Seisia.

Bio for TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM

Mr Stephen is in his third term as a member and second term as Chairperson of the TSRA Board. Mr Stephen has more than 30 years of extensive experience in executive leadership and management with Australian Government and state and local government agencies and community organisations.

He is a former Mayor of the Torres Shire Council and served the community for 20 years in that role. He is an ordained minister of religion and a member of Community Enterprise Queensland and the Port Kennedy Association.

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