Appointment of Commissioner (Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa)
Published Wednesday, 12 October, 2022 at 01:12 PM
Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Craig Crawford
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Craig Crawford has congratulated C’Zarke Maza on his reappointment to the role of Commissioner (Meriba Omasker Kazipa Kazipa).
“Mr Maza has extensive experience in law, advocating for, and engaging with, Torres Strait Islander peoples; and as a Torres Strait Islander person has a deep understanding of the diversity and sensitivity of traditional child rearing practice,’’ Minister Crawford said.
“Since commencing as the inaugural Commissioner in July 2021, Commissioner Maza has established the Cultural Recognition Order application process and engaged with families and community about accessing the service.
“With his reappointment to the role, the Commissioner can ensure continuity in the important and sensitive work undertaken since commencing in the role.”
Mr Crawford said the 2022-23 State Budget additional funding of $3 million over the next two years, will be invested to ensure the Office of the Commissioner (Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa) continues to legally recognise Torres Strait Islander traditional child rearing practice, through Cultural Recognition Orders.
Eight Cultural Recognition Orders have been made, with further applications currently being considered.
“There are many cultural and legal benefits of a Cultural Recognition Order recognising Ailan Kastom (island custom) child rearing practice, including the issuing of a birth certificate that reflects a child’s cultural identity and lived experience, making life achievements such as school enrolment, participating in sport and getting a driving licence, much easier,’’ Mr Crawford said.
“This reappointment will ensure that children who have grown up under Ailan Kastom child rearing practice and their parents can continue to apply to have their legal identity match their cultural identity and lived experience.
“It will also help those subject to the practice to access better services and good jobs, which ensures they can enjoy our great lifestyle.
“The legal recognition of Torres Strait Islander traditional child rearing practice is one way we are promoting reconciliation in Queensland, demonstrating that culture can be protected in law.”
Commissioner Maza said: “Many significant steps have been undertaken to-date in promoting and raising awareness about the legislation among Torres Strait Islander communities and supporting families in making applications for Cultural Recognition Orders”.
“I am pleased to say hundreds of Torres Strait Islander people have been assisted with their enquiries by the Office of the Commissioner. As community awareness and confidence in the scheme continues to grow, applications have been steadily increasing,” he said.
“With Torres Strait Islander families and their children that have been granted cultural recognition orders, I can attest that this process has been life changing. When granting a cultural recognition order, it has been the greatest pleasure to witness the meaningful healing and social and emotional wellbeing that this process provides.
“I am honoured and humbled to be re-appointed as the Commissioner. I am excited to be given the opportunity to continue the good works of the Commission and look forward to improving and expanding on our work with Queensland’s Torres Strait Islander’s.”
Torres Strait Islander families who would like to submit an application or obtain further information on the application process are encouraged to phone 1800 571 102.
For more information about Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa please visit https://www.ocmokk.qld.gov.au/.
Media contact: Peter Michael 0477 948 091