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TSRA Women's Leadership Program wraps up

TSRA Women's Leadership Program wraps up

The inaugural Torres Strait Regional Authority Women’s Leadership Program—a collaboration between the TSRA and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation—wrapped up this week in Canberra. It saw four remarkable women take part in a unique program that is all about personal strengths, skills, and real results back in their communities.

Ella Kris of Thursday Island, Iris Billy and Catharine Enosa of Warraber Island and Lizzie Lui of Iama (Yam) Island commenced the program in the Torres Strait in August and completed a second session in September. Their Canberra sojourn from Sunday 26 to Tuesday 28 October saw the four leaders in the heart of politics, meeting and sharing their stories with a range of policy-makers. Session highlights included morning tea with Senator Nova Peris OAM, dinner with local female leaders; delving into political systems and governance, and presentation to Senator The Hon. Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and The Hon. Warren Entsch MP, Member for Leichhardt.

The following is a media release from The Hon. Warren Entsch, expressing his appreciation for this unique, customised leadership program, and its inspiring participants:

FOUR dedicated Torres Strait women have taken their vision for strong leadership and higher levels of female representation in local governance to Canberra this week.

Catharine Enosa and Iris Billy from Warraber, Ella Kris from Thursday Island and Lizzie Lui from Iama met with Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch and Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion at Parliament House yesterday (TUE).

The four are taking part in a leadership course which is being run by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation in conjunction with the Torres Strait Regional Authority.

“It was great to meet with Catharine, Iris, Ella and Lizzie and to hear about the course, as well as their ambitions to increase the number of female leaders in the Torres Strait,” Mr Entsch said.

“Through the program, they’ve been undertaking leadership challenges, learning skills to successfully overcome these, and have been studying governance and our political system.

“They presented us with a proposal to establish a women’s leadership network in the Torres Strait, holding workshops to share their skills with other aspiring women, and looking at how to streamline services.

‘It’s a fabulous initiative – I’ll support them however I can and I congratulate them whole heartedly.”

Mr Entsch and Minister Scullion heard that the number of women on representative boards in the Torres Strait is very low; while three women sit on the TSRA, there are no female councillors on the Torres Shire Council, the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council or the Torres Strait Island Regional Council.

Minister Scullion told the group that their vision was “very impressive” and emphasised the importance of having a gender balance within agencies, saying that diversity makes organisations operate more effectively.

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