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 on Tuesday.
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.