Leilani Bin-Juda: The key to Treaty is consultation
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Leilani Bin-Juda: The key to Treaty is consultation

November 17, 2019

good morning everyone thank you miss
grant for that wonderful introduction and you’re even better in the flesh I’ve
only ever seen you on the TV my name is Leilani Bin-Juda I’m from the Torres
Strait it took me about 10 hours to get here last night so I’m a little bit lack
of sleep put it that way this morning but coffee has remedied that
firstly I’d like to acknowledge the country we’re on and the traditional
owners and Aunty Di for that wonderful welcome to country this morning I would
also like to acknowledge the other traditional owners in the room who have
travelled far and wide to be with us today I pay my respects to our elders
past and present and those emerging and of course I would be a very efficient
diplomat by acknowledging the Australian and New Zealand School of Government for a wonderful conference that they’ve put together the churchill trust who have
sponsored me to be here and of course my department Foreign Affairs and Trade who
have also sponsored me I’d like to acknowledge the fellow Foreign Affairs
and Trade colleagues who are with us and our deputy secretary our indigenous
champion mr. Richard Maude who is with us today thank you for taking the time
so I look after our office on Thursday Island
I manage the Australia Papua New Guinea Torres Strait treaty between the two
sovereign nations it’s a unique agreement and one of its kind I’m very
fortunate to be the first Torres Strait Islander appointed in the position and I
take that position very seriously the key to the effective implementation of
our Torres Strait treaty on ground is of course consultation and engagement with
our traditional habitants that is our locals on both sides of the border but
here today and tomorrow we are reimagining
the administration so what does that mean I would like to bring to your
attention a couple of things firstly we need to explore why we exist as a public
service and that is we are here to serve the public but who constitutes the
public who are the people that we are meant to serve for me my public is of
course my backyard the Torres Strait our constituents across the border in Papua
New Guinea we are Australia’s front line of defense
we are a small small area but we have a big responsibility and I would like to
draw to your attention the importance of rural and remote communities our lives
and livelihoods matter in the public policy debate over the course of the
next two days I put to you what has worked and how can we improve on current
practice from my perspective in the Torres Strait and managing the Torres
Strait treaty i coordinate 12 government agencies across a vast ocean what’s
worked for us is a whole-of-government approach and of course the active
engagement of our traditional inhabitants now all of this of course
is against a very tight fiscal environment
we are all under pressure to do more with less and of course there are high
expectations to succeed the key question that I’d like all of you to bear in mind
over the next two days is how do we add value to the constituents that we
serve how does what you do improve our lives and most importantly we need to
connect with each other engage in the public policy that we make
develop and execute in our communities if we get it right and we get it done
well we can actually empower others and empower our communities for a safer and
more secure tomorrow that’s how I reimagine the future from where I am
thank you and good luck over the next two days.

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