|As an Ugaramle (Stephen Islander) and a descendent of the “Magaram” Clan of Mer (Murray Island), Mayor Napau Pedro Stephen prides himself as a proud Torres Strait Islander that is devoutly committed to the social and economic well-being of all of the people of the Torres Shire. As an Ordained Minister of the Australian Full Gospel Church, he is actively involved, and strongly believes, in giving people hope in obtaining positive changes to their lives and their environment. His commitment is reflected in his active participation in the development of regional strategies for empowered governance within the Torres Strait region in its totality. |
As the first fulltime Mayor for the Torres Shire, Cr Stephen believes in representing the whole community with equality and respect. He believes in total representation and the appropriateness of Local Government initiatives in its strive for effective governance for all people that seek refuge in the boundaries of the Torres Shire. He believes that prior to 1991, the Torres Shire Council did not, in totality, truly represent the aspirations of the Shire as it was under the control of government appointed representatives. Presently the Torres Shire Council has a greater democracy with an elected Council that places local aspirations on the table for deliberation and decisions.
Changes in 1993 to the Local Government Act to include a responsibility to the social welfare of constituents have also given the Torres Shire Council a new challenge. A challenge that will open the door for the appropriateness of local governance within the Torres Shire; a challenge that will negotiate a commitment to the other government stakeholders within the region with an eye for social and economic change within the Shire; and an assurance to the unification of local governance within the region.
Cr Stephen is aiming to steer the Torres Shire Council’s responsibilities to becoming more than that of the three R’s (Roads, Rates and Rubbish), to one of being recognized as a leader in providing effective and efficient local governance with a model of hope and security in line with social and economic independence for the constituents of the Torres Shire.
His vision is to promote Torres Strait as a strategic centre and safe location, for Australia to launch future economic development and aid to our northern international neighbours. As well as offering a solid foundation for the progression of the studies of new knowledge, new technologies and new partnerships. Torres Strait will be the hub to deliver and maintain all services. Its role includes brokering initiatives such as international investments and infrastructures, which will benefit both the region and Australia as a nation.