Employment & Training


Thursday Island Cycle Way - Phase One Project

The Thursday Island Cycle Way Phase One Project is a current partnership with the TSRA, My Pathway, Torres Shire Council (TSC) and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads for the Provision of a Cycleway on the Island. The project resulted in ten job seekers successfully transitioning from the CDP into paid employment in the building and construction industry.

The TSRA engaged One Blood Hidden Image Entertainment Group (OBHI) to produce a good news story video. OBHI is a locally owned music and Film Company. Further to this OBHI established a hosted placement through the CDP to see a job seeker trained and employed within their company to produce this film.

Torres Strait Maritime Pathway Project

The Torres Strait Maritime Pathway Project (TSMPP) is fully funded by the TSRA and is being delivered in 2017-18 in partnership with My Pathway through its registered training organisation, Training Connections Australia. The primary aim of the TSMPP is to enhance the skills and capability of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people, residing within the Torres Strait region, to operate commercial vessels and create maritime career pathways in related industries such as fishing, tourism, coastal trading and the offshore maritime shipping industry

Want to hear more about the success of the TSMPP? There’s no better way than to hear it from the trainees and employers themselves.

The focus for training in 2017-2018 will include:

  • Shipboard Safety Skill Sets (SSSS)
  • Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency (LROCP)
  • First Aid Course
  • Certificate of Competency Coxswain Grade 1 Near Coastal
  • Certificate of Competency Marine Engine Driver – Grade III
  • Master > 24m
  • Marine Engine driver – Grade I I
  • Certificate III Fishing Operations
  • Wild harvest Dive Course.

Since 2013 over 200 Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people have undertaken TSMPP. 95 percent of students successfully completed the courses with over 80 percent of students transitioning into maritime related employment.

Maritime related employment includes: Defence Force, coastal trading, tourism, environmental management, education and mentoring; mining and fishing industries.

Trainees in action

Growing Our Own – Maritime Stream

The Growing Our Own - Tagai Transitions Maritime Stream project is funded by the TSRA and is delivered in partnership with the Tagai State College, TAFE North Queensland, Queensland Department. Education and Training and the CDP Provider, My Pathway. The first delivery of the project was in 2015 and 2016. Year 12 students from Tagai State College were selected to undertake marine studies including a Coxswain Course. Completing this qualification enabled students to operate a commercial vessel up to 12 meters. The course included maritime pathway studies and Marine Engine Driver III training.

The first year of this project resulted in 60 per cent of students transitioning from school to paid employment.
In 2017 the program was extended to Year 11 as well as Year 12 students.

Trainees in action

Following completion of the general purpose hand qualifications, the students travelled to Cairns where they attended the International Maritime College (IMC)

Students attended various maritime related workshops such as engineering, fire and damage control and slip yard operations.

The trip also enabled the students to experience an extended voyage of seven nights aboard a commercial vessel.  The shipboard experience gave the students the opportunity to undertake practical training in a real world setting and to complete task book activities.

The successful delivery of this project has seen the 2018 project expand to include Year 10 as well as Year 11 and Year 12 students from Tagai State College.

The project deliverables for the 2018 year include:

Year 10:

  • Certificate I in Maritime operations (General Purpose Handl)
  • Elements of Shipboard Safety
  • Short range Operator Certificate of Proficiency
  • Senior First Aid

Year 11:

  • Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Coxswains Grade 1l)
  • Elements of shipboard safety
  • Short range Operator Certificate of Proficiency
  • Senior First Aid.

Students will also start to accumulate sea time and commence task books.

Year 12:

  • Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Coxswains Grade 1l)
  • Short Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency
  • Finalise the accumulation of sea time
  • Complete task books

The Growing Our Own - Tagai Transitions Maritime Stream Project 2018 continues to provide the necessary skills for a smooth transition from graduation to work for students whose ambitions are to enter the maritime industry.

Thursday Island Boat Club Project: Matching training to Employment

The Thursday Island Boat Club project (the project) demonstrates the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) commitment to economic development and wealth creation in the region. The project provided Community Development Programme (CDP) Jobseekers with practical on the job development and training aligned to the needs of the local building industry.

Commencing in December 2015 with 15 Job Seekers the project was a result of a collaboration between the TSRA, My Pathway (the CDP service provider) and the Torres Strait Youth Recreational Sports Association (TSYRSA).

Construction site

The project included demolition work, creation of a new toilet block and a large storage shed for boats and other equipment. Renovation of the existing building included replacement of the roof, a new outdoor deck area, installation of a commercial grade kitchen, new internal ceilings and floor coverings.

Local builder Rob Clarke and his team provided essential on-the-job supervision and guidance throughout the renovation and associated building works. Participation in the project enabled Job seekers to work toward completion of a Certificate II in Construction Training.

Workers on the inside

The Jobseekers also developed a work ethic and learnt about working in a team.  My Pathway mentor, Gavin Bin Juda said,

‘Working with Bob (foreman) was good.  We got a heap of boys employed which was my goal.  Watching and learning about the little things was amazing.  I always wondered, how do you do that? And now I know!’

By using this project as a launching platform, 19 Jobseekers have gained fulltime paid employment and successfully exited the Community Development Programme with a range of new skills, experience and qualifications.  Positive feedback from employers and employees demonstrates the success of the project.

Moa Community Halls Project to provide employment opportunities

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) has provided funds for a training and employment project that aims to create jobs through the completion and repairs of two community halls on Moa Island.

The project will include finalising the St Pauls Hall, which is currently 40 per cent complete, and repairs to the Kubin Community Hall entry gates.

Delivered through the Community Development Programme (CDP), job seekers will gain a Certificate II in Construction and be provided with industry specific training for the labour market on Moa.
The TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said CDP job seekers will gain qualifications and be exposed to real life work situations.
“The goal of the programme is to skill job seekers to improve their employment potential, given the current labour market need,” Mr Stephen said.
“The aim is to get job seekers from Moa to transition from participation in the CDP into paid employment and increase the number of CDP job seekers in the construction industry.
“It is hoped some of these job seekers will then be supported to move in to full time employment when opportunities arise.”

The projects are delivered in partnership with MyPathway and the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC).
The St Pauls and Kubin Community Halls are considered as priority projects by TSIRC.
Mr Stephen said the completion of the halls will deliver vital infrastructure for the community and would provide much needed facilities for meeting places for community gatherings.

TSRA Projects to promote employment in the region

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) has funded more than $1.7 million in projects in the region since June 2017 to continue a positive trend in employment outcomes for local people.

Four new employment and training projects provide industry specific training for Community Development Programme (CDP) job seekers and Tagai students while also benefiting the wider community.

They include:

  • The Cycleway (boardwalk) Project (Phase one)-­‐  This is the first phase of a multi-­‐stage project that on completion will circle Thursday Island;
  • Mabuyag Island Community Hall Project -­‐ upgrades and renovations to the hall;
  • Growing Our Own Tagai Transitions Maritime Project -­‐ a continued partnership project with Tagai State College, My Pathway, and TAFE North QLD aimed at building Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal youth capability to utilise the region’s commercial maritime resources upon completion of grade 12;
  • Mentors Project – to provide specialised knowledge / cultural support to assist the training needs of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal CDP Job Seekers and Secondary College students participating in various employment and training projects.

The TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said the training directly targets skill gaps identified for the current and near future labour market and prepares Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in the region for this employment.

“While the skills development component of these programmes is important, so too is the direct benefit to the community through upgraded and new facilities and the sense of pride once these projects are complete,” Mr Stephen said.

“To assist with the success of these projects the TSRA is also funding local mentors to impart specialised knowledge and provide cultural support to assist the needs of those participating in these employment and training projects.”

Accredited training outcomes include qualifications in concreting, construction and maritime operations, ranging from Certificates I to III.

The projects are delivered in partnership with the CDP Provider My Pathway, Torres Shire Council, Torres Strait Island Regional Council, Tagai State College, Department of Transport and Main Roads, and Great Barrier Reef TAFE.

Community Development Programme

The Community Development Programme (CDP) is the Australian Government's remote employment and community development service. The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) is the Agreement Manager for the CDP in the Torres Strait (Region 59). This means that we are responsible for overseeing the delivery and performance of the CDP provider. It is the only region not managed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Please be aware that Region 59 does not include the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA). The NPA is managed by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet through its Cairns Regional Office. For information concerning the NPA please contact the Cairns office on 1800 079 098 or email fnqregion@network.pmc.gov.au

CDP has two parts; helping people find work, and allowing them to contribute to their communities and gain skills while looking for work.

The Australian Government started the CDP on 1 July 2015, replacing the Remote Jobs and Community Programme. The Australian Government believes the CDP better serves people in remote Australia, leading to better job opportunities and helping community members to help themselves.  The CDP is an essential part of the Australian Government’s agenda for increasing employment and breaking the cycle of welfare dependency in remote areas of Australia.

Frog gully community garden

The CDP is flexible and focused on local decision making and local solutions. Under the CDP, job seekers with activity requirements are expected to do up to 25 hours per week of work-like activities that benefit their community. Activities can take different forms and are suited to the job seeker, their community and the local job market.

Providers, including My Pathway in the Torres Strait are working with remote communities to increase the number and range of community development activities available. They are also promoting these opportunities to the CDP participants while helping them to understand what they need to do to continue receiving income support.

The CDP participants in remote Australia receive personalised assistance from their provider to help build their skills, get a job and to participate to their maximum capacity. Job seekers can undertake formal training, with the opportunity to gain qualifications, or foundational skills training, including language, literacy and numeracy and driver's training, as part of their activity requirement. Job seekers can also gain up to six months of work experience in a real workplace.

Consultation Paper - Changes to the Community Development Programme (CDP)

On 2 December 2015 the Australian Government introduced the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Community Development Program) Bill 2015 (the CDP Bill) into Parliament. More information can be found here:


2017 Budget Announcement

On 9 May 2017 the Australian Government announced it will consult with Indigenous communities and stakeholders on a new employment and participation model for remote Australia to deliver better engagement for remote job seekers and a clear pathway to employment.

Current CDP arrangements will continue while the Government consults on how the new model could build on many of the positive elements of the former Community Development and Employment Programme.

On 14 December 2017, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs announced the release of a discussion paper on possible new employment and participation models for remote Australia.

The remote employment and participation discussion paper outlines three potential remote employment and participation model options: a new wage-based model, the CDP Reform Bill from 2015 and an improved version of current CDP. Some guiding questions have been included in the discussion to help inform responses. Submissions to this discussion paper are part of a broader consultation process, to ensure that any new reforms are developed in partnership with Indigenous Australians and remote communities

There will be a number of avenues for a wide range of stakeholder and remote communities to submit their ideas on any new model including a discussion paper, community consultation sessions, stakeholder workshops and targeted job seeker surveys. More information can be found here:


The TSRA has made a submission in response to the release of a discussion paper on possible new employment and participation models for remote Australia. More information can be found here:


If you would like further information on CDP in the Torres Strait please contact us via email at economic@tsra.gov.au or telephone 07 4069 0700.