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TSIAB expresses gratitude to Benny Mills.

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TSIAB expresses gratitude to Benny Mills


Statement by Elia Doolah, TSIAB Chair

On behalf of the members of ATSIC’s Torres Strait Islander Advisory Board, I wish to pay tribute to the work of Benny Mills who has managed the Office of Torres Strait Islander Affairs with distinction for the past 10 years.

OTSIA is a statutory body established under the ATSIC Act to monitor and report on government programs and policies affecting Torres Strait Islander people, especially those (over 80 per cent) living on the mainland. Until recently, OTSIA also provided secretariat support to TSIAB.

Benny began a 25 year career in the federal public service in the former Commonwealth Department of Education, working on Indigenous issues.

Later, during a period with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Benny served two years (1989-1990) as First Secretary (Political) at the Australian High Commission in Singapore.

Benny made his contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs at the grass-roots community level as well as at the different levels of government. He has worked in the former federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the former Aboriginal Development Commission and the National Aboriginal Congress. He initiated major reforms in education in the Torres Strait region and led the development of Australia’s foreign policy on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs.

As the Manager of OTSIA since 1992, Benny has contributed extensively to the identification of mainland Torres Strait Islander needs and issues and supported ATSIC, TSIAB and other government agencies in developing standards to meet those needs. He was directly involved in the establishment of the Torres Strait Regional Authority in the Torres Strait region and the establishment of the National Secretariat of Torres Strait Islander Organisations.

Benny has chosen to leave bureaucracy behind and take some time out before launching the next phase of his career. His record in Indigenous affairs has been outstanding and we know that he will bring the same energy to whatever he tackles next.

TSIAB and his ATSIC colleagues extend our thanks to Benny Mills for all the work he has done for Indigenous people over the years. We offer him our sincere best wishes for the future.

Aueso Kaima Eso! [A very big thank you!]

Elia Doolah Chairperson, TSIAB ATSIC Commissioner for the Torres Strait

Contact: Martin Freckmann, ATSIC Media 02 6121 4962


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