Sources of income

This section examines the various sources of income for corporations registered under the CATSI Act. Information gathered from audited financial statements submitted between 2007–08 and 2014–15 by the top 20 corporations is provided in table 6 and figure 25. The total income of individual corporations in the top 20 in 2014–15 ranged from $16.4 million to $88.9 million. As a combined group their income amounted to $586,488,630.


Each year, corporations registered under the CATSI Act are required to provide the details of directors in their general reports, including their age, name and title—for instance, Dr, Mr, Mrs, Ms. This report has relied on directors’ titles and first names, as reported in general reports, to identify gender.


General reports submitted to the Registrar since 2007–08 contain information on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees of each corporation. [9]

Figure 19: Total number of employees at the top 500 corporations, 2007–08 to 2014–15

Figure 19 is a column graph showing the total number of FTE employees at the top 500 corporations each year.

Sectoral information

As part of annual reporting under the CATSI Act, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations provide information on the sectors in which they operate.

Figure 16: Number of sectors in which the top 500 corporations operated, 2014–15

Figure 18 is a bar graph listing the sector names and the number of corporations operating in each sector.

Note: Six corporations did not report any sector at all.


Some caution should be exercised when referencing profitability. The vast majority of the top 500 corporations are not-for-profit corporations so this report focuses largely on income. Profit or surplus cannot be taken as an accurate measure of the performance of a not-for-profit because the objective of such corporations is quite different. Their aim is not to generate profit or wealth but to use their resources to the maximum to further their not-for-profit purposes. The more income that a not-for-profit generates, the more resources it will devote to its not-for-profit purposes.

Income, assets and equity

In this section ‘total assets’ refers to current and non-current assets combined, as reported by corporations. Also, ‘total equity’ is calculated as:

total equity = total assets – total liabilities.

Figure 6: Combined total income, total assets and total equity, 2004–05 to 2014–15

Overall income

In this report ‘income’ refers to total income as reported in corporations’ audited financial statements or general reports. This may include self-generated income, government grants, philanthropic gifts and other income sources.

In 2014–15 the combined income of the top 500 corporations was $1.882 billion, an increase from $1.739 billion in 2013–14 (nominal increase of 8.2 per cent).

Geographic spread

Geographic spread of the top 500 corporations

Figure 2: Geographic spread of the top 500 corporations, 2014–15

Map of Australia showing the number and percentage share of top 500 corporations in each state/territory.

As shown in figure 2, the Northern Territory had the most corporations in the top 500 in 2014–15 (165 corporations, making up 33.0 per cent of the total 500).

Reporting compliance

Under the CATSI Act all corporations are required to submit one or more reports to the Registrar depending on their size (small, medium or large) and income.

Figure 1: Reporting compliance for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations, 2001–02 to 2014–15

Figure 1 is a line graph plotting the percentage of reporting compliance for all corporations starting in 2001–02 up to 2014–15.


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