About the Registrar

Position and powers

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations is an independent statutory office holder appointed by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs to administer the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act). The Registrar has powers to intervene that are similar to those exercised by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). For more detail see the page on the Registrar's regulatory powers.

The current Acting Registrar is Mr Mike Fordham—he was appointed to the position on 14 April 2018.

Statement of expectations and statement of intent

As a result of the Review of the Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Office Holders (the Uhrig report), ministers can outline their expectations of agencies and then the agency will respond with a statement of intent which details how they will fulfil the minister's expectations.


An office of staff, known as the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC), helps the Registrar administer the CATSI Act and support and regulate corporations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia. ORIC also provides an avenue for new incorporations, delivering a tailored service that responds to the special needs of Indigenous groups and corporations, and striving for national and international best practice in corporate governance.

ORIC was previously known as the Office of the Registrar of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations (this remains the statutory title under the CATSI Act) and the Office of the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations (1977–2007). The name ORIC was adopted from 1 May 2008.

Our purpose

Our purpose is to effectively administer the CATSI Act, which requires us to:

  • register Indigenous groups that want to incorporate or to transfer their registration to operate under the CATSI Act
  • help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations to run properly—according to their own rules and cultures—and ensure they don't break the law
  • offer support, advice and training to help corporations do the best job for their communities.

Our vision

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people building strong communities through strong corporations

Our key clients

We are focused on serving:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, groups and corporations
  • people accessing the public registers under the CATSI Act—the public Register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations, and the Register of Disqualifed Officers
  • the minister and agencies supporting the minister
  • the Australian Government and state and territory governments
  • agencies with interests in funds and/or assets controlled by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations
  • other agencies regulating the Indigenous corporate sector
  • Indigenous peak bodies in critical sectors such as medical, housing, land holding and legal.

You can find out more about corporations currently incorporated under the CATSI Act through the latest:

Portfolio agency and machinery of government changes

ORIC is part of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C). This came into effect on 18 September 2013 when the Administrative Arrangements Orders were handed down.

ORIC's previous agencies were:

  • Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)—On 24 January 2006 ORAC (as it was called at the time) and the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination (OIPC) became part of the new Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) portfolio, formerly the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS). This new department was formed on 27 January 2006.
  • Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA)—ORAC was transferred to DIMIA on 1 July 2004 after the Australian Government’s decision to abolish both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services (ATSIS) and distribute their programs and services to mainstream Australian Government agencies.


For details about the Budget see the PM&C website.