The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) has sponsored Saibai Island’s Chelsea Aniba as a new candidate to participate in the 2019 Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP).

Ms Aniba and a group of inspiring leaders have begun the 15-month program which runs across Australia and Indonesia.

During the program, participants develop their leadership skills by immersing themselves in a series of unique experiences.

Known for her roles as the TSRA member for Saibai Island and Portfolio Member for Safe Communities, Ms Aniba said she was excited for the opportunity to grow as a leader for her community.

“I am a strong but humble woman of the Dhoeybaw clan of Saibai Island, and my ambition has always been to help my people close the gap on social issues, to improve services and create opportunities for business development and home ownership,” Ms Aniba said.

“The impacts of climate change are another concern for our communities, and I have given much support for the Seawalls projects.”

This was the 11th TSRA sponsored scholarship offered for a Torres Strait Islander person to attend the leadership program.

TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM said the partnership between TSRA and ARLP was vital to developing future Torres Strait community leaders.

“The selection process for the ARLP is highly competitive and candidates are chosen based on their motivation, inspiration and leadership experiences,” Mr Stephen said.

“It was a privilege to take part in the selection process and to see Ms Chelsea Aniba, chosen as the leading candidate.”

Mr Stephen said Ms Aniba was a living testament for others in her region who aspire to become leaders and her involvement in the course will benefit the TSRA and the Torres Strait.

“Her appointment also fulfils my own aspiration, to witness a colleague lead in her own right, to lift as she climbs and take everyone with her,” Mr Stephen said.

Former ARLP candidate, Jack Kepa offered some words of encouragement for aspiring community leaders.

“The ARLP program was a life changer for me, and I would definitely recommend this program to others who are seeking personal and career development,” Mr Kepa said.

Mr Kepa said the program had encouraged him to step out of his comfort zone and that he was currently moving to Thursday Island to undertake a new role.

“I couldn’t have done it without the assistance of the TSRA and I am truly grateful for the financial support and the encouragement that I have received,” Mr Kepa said.

ARLP Course 27 has now opened for applications until close of business August 30.

For application forms or further information please contact the TSRA Governance and Leadership Program on 07 4069 0700 or info@tsra.gov.au.