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TSRA celebrates 25 years with Iama community

As part of the Torres Strait Regional Authority’s (TSRA) 25th Anniversary, the leadership team visited Iama on Friday 29 November to celebrate local and regional achievements.

The event on Iama brought together TSRA representatives, Traditional Owners, Elders and members of the local community to reflect on regional progress over a quarter of a century, and with a view to the future.

Established on 1 July 1994 under the then Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989, the TSRA as a Commonwealth statutory authority has since driven a large number of social and economic outcomes.

The organisation’s goal to improve the lifestyle and wellbeing of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people living in the Torres Strait region has been its sole focus over its 25 years in operation.

TSRA Chairperson, Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said it was an honour to join with the Iama community in celebrating this important milestone for the TSRA as organisation.

“During its 25 years, the TSRA has spent over $25M in grants administered through Iama Island Council, the Torres Strait Island Regional Council and community organisations for various infrastructures and activities,” Mr Stephen said.

“This includes Community Development Employment Projects wages, community training, Council offices, community hall, sports facility, Council machinery, landfill program and coastal erosion among others.

“Our vison remains; to empower our people, in our decision, in our culture, for our future, and it is important that we celebrate that with our communities, and we are here to thank the Iama community for their ongoing support.

“We can look back on many achievements over the past quarter of a century, including being appointed as a Native Title Representative Body, managing and protecting our natural assets, and a host of economic enablers including our fishery industry.”

The TSRA has shared many achievements with the Iama community including the election of Mr Getano Lui (Jnr) of Iama as the first Chairperson of TSRA in July of 1994 until 1997.

Timeline of achievements:

  • 2003-2004, the Iama Island Council was provided $40,000 to repair severe tidal damage that had occurred during the wet season.
  • 2004-2005, under the Major Infrastructure Program and in partnership with TSIRC and the Queensland Government, a tidal gauge was installed on Iama to add to the regional network which monitors tidal dynamics across the Torres Strait.
  • 2006, the Iama Airstrip was opened. The project was jointly funded by TSRA and Queensland Department of Transport, with works completed by Queensland Department of Main Roads.
  • 2013, the TSRA Malu Urui Ranger Boat was blessed and began work for the community.
  • 2014 to 2019, a total of 19 participants from Iama attended the Into Business and You Sabe Business (USB) workshops, provided by the TSRA Economic Development Programme.
  • 2016, the TSRA Member for Iama, Mr Getano Lui (Jnr) elected as the Chairperson of the TSRA Regional Governance Committee.
  • 2017, three candidates from Iama completed the Torres Strait Women’s Leadership Program, with support from the TSRA.
  • 2017 and 2019, two candidates from Iama graduate from the Australian Rural Leadership Course, through sponsorship by TSRA.

There are some very significant projects that have been delivered through the TSRA’s programmes and their work with partner agencies for the benefit of the region.

Pictured: TSRA Chairperson, Napau Pedro Stephen AM,and Acting CEO Mary Bani received a warm welcome on Iama.

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