|The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), is a Commonwealth statutory authority established in 1994 under section 142 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Act 1989 (the Act). The functions of the TSRA are set out in s142A of the Act. These include the recognition and maintenance of the ‘special and unique Ailan Kastom’ [Island custom] of Torres Strait Islanders living in the Torres Strait (s142A(1)(a); the formulation and implementation of programs for Torres Strait Islanders, and Aboriginal persons, living in the Torres Strait area; and the monitoring of programs for, and development of policy proposals to meet the needs of, Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal persons living in the Torres Strait area.|
The TSRA aims to improve the lifestyle and well-being of Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people living in the region by strengthening the economic, social and cultural development of the Torres Strait.
‘The Authority's vision is to empower Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people to determine their own affairs based on the unique Ailan Kastom (Island Custom) bilong Torres Strait which is the source of unity and strength.’ (Torres Strait Regional Authority website: http://www.tsra.gov.au/www/index.cfm?itemid=66).
The TSRA realises it is essential to move away from welfare programs and to develop an economic base for the region in order to achieve autonomy.