Torres Strait Celebrates Winds Of Zenadth Cultural Festival

Torres Strait Celebrates Winds Of Zenadth Cultural Festival

Queensland Minister for Communities Shannon Fentiman

Esso To The Torres Strait For Another Brilliant Winds Of Zenadth Cultural Festival

Victor P Taffa

Torres Strait community has come together to celebrate another fantastic Winds of Zenadth cultural festival in style.

Communities Minister and Ministerial Champion for the Torres Strait Shannon Fentiman were on Thursday Island for the closing of the biannual festival and to meet with community leaders on issues affecting the region.

“It’s always wonderful to come up to the Torres Strait and to participate in fantastic cultural events like Winds of Zenadth.” Ms. Fentiman said.

“However, during my visit I also met with community leaders and local Elders, including Mayor Vonda Malone from the Torres Shire Council and Pedro Stephen from TSRA (Torres Strait Regional Authority), to discuss a range of issues including housing, water, economic development and local jobs.”

“I was also very pleased to participate in a Kuarareg cultural welcome and Torres Strait cultural induction at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre.”

Ms. Fentiman said she met with local women’s groups during her visit, including representatives from Lena Passi and Mura Kosker Sorority as well as the Torres Strait Regional Authority and Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services staff on Thursday Island.

“As Ministerial Champion for the Torres Strait I sat down with Mayor Malone to discuss issues facing island residents and progress towards addressing these concerns across governments.” Ms. Fentiman said.

“It’s essential that community leaders on these remote locations have direct access to a Ministerial and DG champion who can assist them to navigate government to address important issues for their communities.”

“From the perspective of my Ministerial portfolios, I’m really pleased that the leaders of this community are keen to work with us on developing an island-based family and children support network.”

“It’s in the early stages but we are working together to find local solutions to better support families and children in the Torres Strait.” Ms. Fentiman said.

“It was also important to connect with local child safety staffs that were able to advise that the number of ongoing matters is declining across the Torres Strait Region.”

“Staff is working deeply and more intensively with families in a culturally-relevant way to support them earlier to care for their children.”

“Tackling domestic and family violence is a key priority for the Palaszczuk Government and it is great to see the local community is also dedicated to tackling this issue, with discussions underway for a domestic violence summit in the Torres Strait later this year.” Ms. Fentiman said.

The Palaszczuk Government provided $95,000 to support the festival, including support through Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts Initiative and the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.