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The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations is an independent statutory office holder appointed by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).
The most recent Registrar was Mr Anthony Beven—he was appointed to the position on 1 October 2007 and his term ended on 12 November 2017.
As an independent statutory office holder responsible for the administration of the CATSI Act, the Registrar has powers to intervene that are similar to those exercised by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
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), has been set up to help the Registrar administer the CATSI Act and to support and regulate corporations for Indigenous 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 (2007–present, this is 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 is to effectively administer the CATSI Act, which requires us to:
- register Indigenous groups that want to become corporations
- help Indigenous corporations run properly, according to their own rules and cultures, and to make sure they don't break the law
- offer support, advice and training to help Indigenous corporations do the best job for their communities.
in a manner consistent with principles of sound corporate governance and in the context of current and emerging Australian and international law and practice on good corporate governance.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people building strong communities through strong corporations.
We are focused on serving:
- Indigenous individuals, groups and corporations
- people accessing the public registers under the CATSI Act—public Register of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations, and Register of Disqualifed Directors
- 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.
See a profile of corporations currently incorporated under the CATSI Act.
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.