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Torres Strait Regional Authority congratulates local councils on recent elections

Joseph Guenzler -

The Torres Strait Regional Authority has commended the recently elected councils in the region.

Meriam Island man and TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM attended the Torres Shire Council Declaration of Office Ceremony on Waiben (Thursday Island) earlier this month.

TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM. (Image: Supplied)

In his second term as elected TSRA Chairperson, Mr Stephen said serving the region was an honour.

"Leadership in the Torres Strait is built upon strong foundations laid by our ancestors who fought for the rights of people and place," Mr Stephen said.

"It is a privilege to witness both experienced and emerging leaders working together to progress the aspirations of our unique region.

"On behalf of the Torres Strait Regional Authority, I also acknowledge all outgoing councillors for their contributions."

According to Mr Stephen, the variety of council candidates, including young individuals and women, showcased the robustness of local leadership.

"TSRA welcomes the opportunity to connect and continue working with each mayor, councillor and council to progress shared priorities and aspirations for our region," he said.

In 2023, a non-partisan workshop on political candidate training for Indigenous women took place on Waiben.

Women for Election, Politics in Colour, the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, and TSRA collaborated on the initiative.

TSRA Chief Executive Officer Vonda Malone. (Image: Suplied)

Erub Island and Cape York woman, TSRA chief executive Vonda Malone, previously the first female Mayor of Torres Shire Council, noted that the increased number of female candidates marked progress towards fostering diverse voices in decision-making.

"It is a proud moment to see more women stand up for positive change in our communities," Ms Malone said.

"I also acknowledge the contributions of those who have and continue to inspire girls and women to lead with courage, confidence and compassion."

TSRA stands out as one of Australia's most remote Public Service agencies.

It functions under the guidance of an elected Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Board, representing 20 communities across the region, including Bamaga and Seisia on the mainland.

Currently, it boasts its highest count of female Board members since its inception in 1994.

The current four-year term of the TSRA Board is set to conclude this year, with a call for nominations anticipated in the upcoming months.

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