The TSRA is a Commonwealth Authority which was established on 1 July 1994 under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989, now known as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (ATSI Act 2005). It is the leading Commonwealth representative body for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginalpeople living in the Torres Strait.
What We Do
The functions of the TSRA, as outlined in Section 142A of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (ATSI Act 2005), are:
(a) to recognise and maintain the special and unique Ailan Kastom of Torres Strait Islanders living in the Torres Strait area;
(b) to formulate and implement programs for Torres Strait Islanders, and Aboriginal persons, living in the Torres Strait area;
(c) to monitor the effectiveness of programs for Torres Strait Islanders, and Aboriginal persons, living in the Torres Strait area, including programs conducted by other bodies;
(d) to develop policy proposals to meet national, State and regional needs and priorities of Torres Strait Islanders, and Aboriginal persons, living in the Torres Strait area;
(e) to assist, advise and co-operate with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal communities, organisations and individuals at national, State, Territory and regional levels;
(f) to advise the Minister on:
(i) matters relating to Torres Strait Islander affairs, and Aboriginal affairs in the Torres Strait area, including the administration of legislation;
(ii) the co-ordination of the activities of other Commonwealth bodies that affect Torres Strait Islanders or Aboriginal persons, living in the Torres Strait area;
(g) when requested by the Minister, to provide information or advice to the Minister on any matter specified by the Minister;
(h) to take such reasonable action as it considers necessary to protect Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal cultural material and information relating to the Torres Strait area if the material or information is considered sacred or otherwise significant by Torres Strait Islanders or Aboriginal persons;
(i) at the request of, or with the agreement of, the Australian Bureau of Statistics but not otherwise, to collect and publish statistical information relating to Torres Strait Islanders, and Aboriginal persons, living in the Torres Strait area;
(j) such other functions as are conferred on the TSRA by this Act or any other Act;
(k) such other functions as are expressly conferred on the TSRA by a law of a State or of an internal Territory and in respect of which there is in force written approval by the Minister under section 142B;
(l) to undertake such research as is necessary to enable the TSRA to perform any of its other functions; and
(m) to do anything else that is incidental or conducive to the performance of any of the preceding functions.
The powers of the TSRA, as outlined in section 142C of the ATSI Act 2005, are the following:
(1) The TSRA has power to do all things that are necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of its functions.
(2) The powers of the TSRA include, but are not limited to, the following powers:
(a) to accept gifts, grants, bequests and devises made to it;
(b) to act as trustee of money and other property vested in it on trust;
(c) to negotiate and co-operate with other Commonwealth bodies and with State, Territory and local government bodies;
(d) to enter into an agreement for making a grant or loan under section 142GA to the State of Queensland or an authority of that State (including a local government body); and
(e) to enter into an agreement (other than an agreement referred to in paragraph (d) with a State or a Territory.
(3) Despite anything in this Act, any money or other property held by the TSRA on trust must be dealt with in accordance with the powers and duties of the TSRA as trustee.
(4) The powers of the TSRA may be exercised in or out of Australia.