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‘Islan Style’ Namas

TSIRC Staff Profile – Adeah Kabai

Made from Fresh Fish, Namas is fresh and tasty to make. This dish can serve as an appetiser or main. Maryann Bourne of Erub Island shares with us a simple recipe she enjoys.

Each issue of Strait Talk highlights the successful careers of people working in our teams. This month we look at Adeah’s journey up the ranks as an ambitious and committed team member.

INGREDIENTS: • 1x trevally fish fillets (or other fish) • 1x red onion • 1x capsicum • 1x cucumber • brown vinegar • 1x lemon (or lime) • 5 chilies (depending on fish size or how you like it mild/hot)

Adeah Kabai began his Engineering career with TSIRC in 2010 as a Student Engineer before graduating from Central Queensland University in 2013 with a Diploma in Professional Practice (Engineering) and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering. TSIRC Engineering Services gave Adeah his first real life engineering experience by allowing him to complete the mandatory 6-month work experience with TSIRC. During this time Adeah was awarded a Scholarship with the prestigious Rio Tinto Indigenous Scholarship Cadetship Program. The Scholarship and Cadetship Program provided Adeah with professional career development, mentoring, and financial support and guaranteed employment opportunities. “I took the opportunity with Rio Tinto to develop the necessary skills and knowledge as an engineer in the mining industry and bring it back to my community”. Adeah had been working for Rio Tinto Iron Ore as Graduate Civil Engineer (Project Engineer) at Brockman 4 mine site in the Pilbara, Western Australia for the past 3 years. His desire to move back to Saibai prompted Adeah to apply for the Divisional Manager position on Saibai. It was always his aspiration to

ISSUE 3 | 2016

return to Torres Strait and give back to his people and community. Within 6 months of working for TSIRC as Divisional Manager Saibai, Adeah was appointed to the role of Operations Engineer and also acted in the Manager of Engineering Operations role.

EHW’s (Environmental Health Workers) from across the Torres Strait, NPA and remote communities of Queensland attended the 33rd Tropical Public Health Services Workshop held in NPA in October. EHW’s had the opportunity to do some hands on work with the vet (Seadog vet services) and assisted NPA’s Animal Management team treating dogs for Mange at Seisia, New Mapoon, Umagico, Bamaga & Injinoo. EHW’s witnessed for the first time horses being castrated as a birth control measure to reduce the number of horses breeding in the NPA.

Adeah wants to use his success story that includes ups and downs to inspire and motivate other Torres Strait Islanders to pursue higher education and give back to the community. “I grew up on Saibai all my life. If I can do it then anyone can do it”.

Aus-PNG Emerging Leaders Dialogue

Adeah’s success story can be viewed on YouTube at: https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=U-nau6DoUy4

Community & Stakeholder Survey

Our very own Councillor Bob Kaigey has been selected to attend the Emerging Leaders Dialogue in Brisbane 22- 23 November 2016. The Emerging Leaders Dialogue is hosted by the Lowy Institute for International Policy. It is held under the auspice of the Australia-Papua New Guinea Network which is funded by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


The Torres Strait Island Regional Council wants your ideas and feedback to help us plan and improve services across our region. When the school year starts in February, we will be conducting a survey of community members and stakeholders across our region. PRIZES FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS There are some great prizes for community members completing this survey, including store vouchers and iPad’s! We also have some prizes just for those of you who help other family and friends to complete their survey online. Your thoughts will help shape the future of our communities and region.

Susannah Mosby said this workshop was excellent because it was facilitated in a remote community and involved on the job training. EHW’s got to focus on training that was relevant to their everyday duties. The workshop was a great opportunity for networking and building stronger working relationship between EHW’s in other remote communities. On behalf of the Environmental Health Workers, I would like to thank Management for supporting us by allowing the EHW’S to attend; TPHS (Tropical Public Health Services Cairns) for facilitating; and the presenters and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council for hosting. Special mention to Mr George Mara, his team and their families for their beautiful hospitality and Mr Clayton Abreu for the time and effort he puts into organising these workshops.


Congratulations Cr Kaigey!!!


From the Office of the Mayor….

I would like to acknowledge our Traditional Owners, Leaders past and present and thank God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon us. As we approach the end of the year I know we are all looking forward to spending time together with our loved ones. It has been a big year with plenty more work to do. Council continue to prepare for real-life change that sits on our horizon. Right at the forefront sits sustainability – this encompasses everything we do. Sustainability ensures we continue to deliver essential services and our employees are provided succession pathways to increase decisionmaking in our communities.

MSAO Workshop Our Multi-Skilled Administration Officers (MSAO’s) travelled to Cairns to participate in week long workshops in July and September. The workshops aimed to build more supportive work relationships and better equip staff to provide effective service delivery through their Council Divisions. The workshop was facilitated by Cluster Divisional Managers Ranetta Nawakie, Larissa Bani & Kimiko Mosby. The first two days consisted of teambuilding exercises such as an Amazing Race in Cairns City and excursions to Mamu Tropical Skywalk and Paronella Park in Innisfail. Both teams

The Forum brings together 20 young leaders from a range of sectors from Australia and Papua New Guinea to share ideas on priority national issues for both Australia and Papua New Guinea. The event will include a professional networking session with high profile corporate, government and civil society organisations.

The survey will be available on iPad’s or by paper.


METHOD: 1. Fillet fish and slice into thin strips 2. Slice the onion, capsicum, cucumber to throw in your fish 3. Dice chillies and sprinkle over the fish and other ingredients 4. Squeeze lemon (or lime) juice over ingredients 5. Pour enough vinegar to cover all ingredients. Mix well. 6. Store in fridge for 30 minutes

EHW Workshop

“To act as the Manager of Engineering Operations has been a significant highlight of my professional career especially at the age of 25”



BUDGET REVIEW Our 16/17 November budgetary review process assessed how we are tracking against our adopted original budget. This workshop ensured newly appointed Councillors were taken through at a reasonable pace and actively engaged. The process allows Council to identify areas that experienced any significant budget movements, variations and Council’s overall operating statement and cash flow projections for the future. Council is yet to adopt and note changes to its adopted 16/17 Original Budget. This is scheduled for the December Ordinary Meeting agenda on 14 – 15th December and hosted by Warraber Island. Significant items include: •  $2.52M to repair roads through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). Roads will be repaired on Badu, Boigu, Erub, Kirriri (Hammond) Mabuyag and Moa - with just over $1M earmarked for several roads across Badu. CONTINUED NEXT PAGE > conquered great heights, experienced a peaceful rainforest walk and enjoyed the breath-taking scenery of Paronella Park. After the teambuilding exercise senior staff members from Purchasing, Debtors, Indigenous Knowledge Centres provided support and training with our MSAO’s. The workshop theme was Excellence in Customer Service. Through this workshop our MSAO’s have strengthened their team relationships and understanding of their roles and responsibilities.


• The new wharf construction at Kirriri is gaining momentum with additional funds from the State and TSRA coming in at $790K. Bringing the total proposed Capital Budget to $1.9M • $615K of Water Emergency Response funds has been allocated to operate and transport our 5 desalination units in the event of water shortages to our communities. • Council has secured $600K to improve road safety for St Pauls, Kubin and Kirriri. This was received through the State’s Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS). • A projected $2.2M net increase in recoverable works for an additional 5 houses (on top of the existing 9 houses that were funded as part of the original 2015/16 budget). Houses are allocated to land that has Native Title resolved. •  Also included is the additional stages of the Badu Infrastructure Project. Including demolition of 6 old dongas to make way for new housing. In total 11 new houses are programmed to be built for Badu. SUSTAINABILITY

our business model going forward and we need to bring positive changes about how we administer this business. The TAP is not only about our Council; it is much bigger. It is about our region and about where we are heading for improved regional governance arrangements. We must refine our reporting lines and procedures and increase delegations to staff in our local communities. We are not a small Council. We are massive - positive change and improved operations are well underway. The only way the TAP will be successful is if the will of our people is there; the willingness to learn, the willingness to transfer skills and the willingness to support further rationalisation and divestment. We need everyone on board. The TAP will not be delivered in silos away from our valued employees. It is about all of us and we will each play an important part in its success. God Bless.

Mayor Gela You can read more on TAP and Regional Governance in Mayor Gela’s Foreword in our Annual Report.

To secure Council’s financial future and ensure job security for our communities, Council invited the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) to undertake a Financial Sustainability Review. The Review indicated that without further positive change to our current business model, Council will start adopting small operating deficits from 2018/19, which will slowly increase. Over utive time this will erode Council’s hief Exec ince C g n ti c s A g you as een with Council significant cash reserve as we will ddressin b xecutive a E e e v b a to h p to I u . d g lk re have to draw from it and be more a in u T v o of Strait r and mo I am hon this issue hief Legal Office heavily reliant on it. r . fo r e c Offi sC ears ago ing out a ervices several y rt ta s ge the 9 0 This reserve allows Council to enter 20 rate S knowled s contribution o c a rp y o ll C a r n s and undertake significant capital Manage to perso years of nd selfle this time in her 9 itment a e il m k c m n ta o u c o to , projects. Council will cover upfront h helped thy to C I want tyle whic her m, empa hwang brought s s t li a n n e io m s e costs in-full and be reimbursed over r g profes Dania A ue mana ended fo er CEO, e comm ctly uniq n b the construction period of the project. ti to is d is our form a ia s Dania ha e are today. Dan We have identified one of many rvey service. n. w io re g e older Su re h h e w e k th to ta S s to u strategies that will alter this trajectory, nd steer ibution help us munity a ing contr g a Com ave their say and and the numbers stack up. in IRC p lo outstand e v ns for TS to h o tly de ti y n it e ta n c rr u e u rt c p is r ex ppo hape Council Council’s priority for debt recovery and has an o es and s the tand you ic e rs n e rv o d e s n ry u e e r v improv early in us bette so that e asset management is critical for our port us to and their iPad’s will help p u is s h l T il . w w gro future. Council will continue to increase r team utions r contrib . Look out for ou check and you operational efficiency and foster n o ti ge you to direc ra . u y re o it tu c n n u fu e r m I ou partnerships in the region. com site and r in your new web r re u new yea o d e as n to ensu TRANSITIONAL ACTION PLAN (TAP) now rele u ional Pla to ra e re p a We have w.tsirc.qld.gov.a nnual O get and ww n” Council is now in a better than ever s 16/17 A rget, within bud it it out at d e is tional Pla v ra ta re e n p o o ls O a “ re s a ed position to identify what strategies will ha e region , improv /yourCouncil cts for th The new .tsirc.qld.gov.au . je s ensure a seamless transition. Our office n ro p la r p majo www ategic to our str r new website at: in Cairns, which ensures we are better k aligned u o ear. I loo und on connected to services and decision-makers d New Y nity. n a s a can be fo lications/plans tm u ris ub at a State and Federal level will remain, and rable Ch ext in your comm council/p d memo n n a m a fe I a s en is critical to our operations - however, over ave a h you wh Please h eting wit e time its footprint will be reduced. m to forward ss. In line with the Financial Sustainability God ble Review, we need to think innovatively to reduce operational costs. We have arrived Officer ecutive x E f ie at a point where we really need to consider h C Acting | 2

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LEADERS SHOUT OUT! In this Edition we introduce Councillor Keri Akiba for Saibai Island. First and foremost, I acknowledge our creator and secondly our Elders past and present of Saibai Mura Buway and the TSIRC region. After lengthy contemplation of requests by some prominent Elders of the Saibai Community, I stepped up as Councillor on July 16, 2016. My previous experience in the position was under former Saibai Island Council where I served as Chairman and Councillor from 1984 - 2008. Being a new Councillor to Torres Strait Regional Council (TSIRC), I have made an effort to familiarise myself with its strategic direction through the Torres Strait Island Regional Council Corporate Plan, Regional Integrated Service Delivery Plan, One Boat Regional Governance Reform, Transitional Action Plan, Regional Economic Initiatives, Torres Strait Housing Authority, and Climate Change Adaption so that I can contribute effectively to the Region. During my campaign for the recent by-election, I made it abundantly clear that I will be in this position for one term only. My goal is to identify and address ongoing serious or potential issues and to pursue economic opportunities for individuals and family groups of Saibai and set a framework to building a pathway towards economic independence by utilising Clan areas through Native Title arrangements. I have identified that we should not depend entirely on Government for our economic wellbeing but we should take the initiative to think outside the square and engage in our initiatives to get ahead.

The community of Saibai have now engaged the services of Saibai academics from Queensland University to liaise and recruit experts in various fields from Queensland University. This joint initiative also includes Saibai Mura Buway (PBC) and TSIRC Saibai Division 3 in collaboration with our TSRA representative to assist us with Saibai’s future community development and economic direction. I am pleased to say that we are definitely taking action outside the square and are now in negotiations with investors from China for potential investments that each Clan might benefit from. In conclusion, I would just like to say that the future is looking good for us.

Creating jobs through rent payment

Cr Keri Akiba

Division 3, Saibai.

In 2016, new housing construction has provided jobs for 31 workers throughout the islands. TSIRC also employ nine young apprentices in our building team. We are proud to support our young people get their qualifications so they are set up for a lifetime career. As a social housing provider, Council use rental income to support essential repairs, crosssubsidise upgrade programs and insure social housing rental properties.

Brisbane Deputations In the first week of October, the Mayor and former CEO met with Queensland Government Ministers and their senior staff in Brisbane. Mayor Gela advocated strongly for diverse infrastructure needs to be supported by adequate funding and appropriate policy and processes.

Mayor Gela emphasised the need for greater capital investment in our water and wastewater infrastructure and the importance of providing long term solutions, not band-aid fixes. Some of the infrastructure issues addressed included: • Water and Wastewater assets • Water Operations Project • Major Infrastructure Program (MIP) funding • A regional solution for waste management • Torres Strait Treaty - strain on resources, TB risks, and Saibai Multi - Agency facility • Marine access needs of Ugar, Mer, Mabuyag • Need for a complete package approach to housing • Adequate funding for climate change adaption solutions • Full mobile coverage

Much of this maintenance work is done by Council’s own Building Services Unit – which employs local community team members.

Meetings were held with Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni; Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business, Leann Enoch; Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply, Mark Bailey; and Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef, Stephen Miles and Assistant Minister for Local Government Jennifer Howard.

Your rent benefits the community in many ways, including supporting ongoing employment in our communities.

Mayor Gela also met with senior Department of Premier and Cabinet staff involved in the upcoming Productivity Commission’s review into delivery of services in Indigenous communities. He emphasised the need for government to review its fly-in fly-out staffing models and focus on local recruitment of suitable positions.

If you have any questions about your rent or arrears payment plan, please contact the Housing Officer responsible for your community. Your Housing Officer’s contact details are located at the Council Office, or email: housing@tsirc.qld.gov.au

More information about Council’s advocacy efforts is available on our new website. http://www.tsirc.qld.gov.au/your-council/engagementadvocacy/deputations


Reliving our Ancestors dreams.... By Phillemon Mosby | Gaulaig, Kulkalgal Nations My name is Phillemon Mosby and I am a Gaulaig man from Poruma Island belonging to the Kulkalgal nations. I have ancestral kinship to Masig, Iama, Ugar, Mer, Mabuiag, Moa and Boigu Islands. I acknowledge our great creator for his favour and blessing upon our lives, and acknowledge the spirit of our ancestors and forefathers who laid the foundation for upholding cultural practices and Ailan Kastom. We should be proud of what remains of our culture, identity and Kastom today. Since time immemorial this is our first and last point of reference. It forms our world view from which to resolve the issues and challenges we face today as Torres Strait Islanders. Through my journey leading language revitalisation on Poruma, I have learned that creating the right environment supported language to come alive again. Identifying, supporting and assisting cross-generation communication of elders with young people helped bring our language alive. Younger generations can appreciate and embrace the learning space and the cultural concepts within the ancestral domain. Shared responsibility and ownership for cultural knowledge gives us the opportunity to develop and implement processes together that achieve intergenerational learning. Respect was a practice taught to children and young people through traditional learning. Children were schooled to address individual family members according to their kinship structure and systems and educated in taboo customary beliefs and practice according to their respective clans and totems. Clan members were encouraged to connect and take pride for their totems. They esteemed and revealed certain clan characteristics or totems through arts, song, dance, and conversation both on the island and off shore. It is absolutely important that we continue to encourage the continuity of this traditional knowledge and practices. We must reinvigorate cultural ways through which traditional knowledge is preserved, taught and passed on within this new global community. As proud custodians of this traditional knowledge, we can appreciate the importance of our roles, pass on our knowledge and be champions for the next generation of our people. With support, the next generation can be strong and proud gate keepers for their cultural heritage and knowledge. I would like to encourage all young Torres Strait Islanders to take the time to reflect, look around, walk through the well paved roads of your modern villages, and stroll along the beautiful shoreline. Notice how the waves wash every step you leave behind. Like footsteps washed from the sand, our people and knowledge can also pass into the tides of time. We must acknowledge how important the knowledge of our elders is right now, and do what we can to realise the blessing of our elders here with us. Make their business your business, to re-live our ancestor’s dreams. An extended version of this story can be found on our new website. We invite all community members to contribute and share culture stories for publication in Strait Talk. Please email us at engagement@tsirc.qld.gov.au if you have something to share. Eso!


Profile for TSIRC

Strait talk Issue 3 2016  

Strait talk Issue 3 2016  

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