ORIC yearbook 2015–16: Case study: Special administration—CAAAPU restored and renewed

See ORIC yearbook 2015–16 table of contents

Based in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, The Central Australian Aboriginal Alcohol Programmes Unit Aboriginal Corporation (CAAAPU) has since 1992 offered culturally appropriate drug and alcohol treatment services to local Aboriginal people.

‘CAAAPU’s work in helping people to address their addictions and to get well again is vital not only for them as individuals but for the entire community,’ said the Registrar. ‘I applaud CAAAPU’s aims to protect people from self-harm and also from altercations with the police or the justice system.’

Clients have access to medical professionals, a number of different health and counselling programs, and can attend either CAAAPU’s residential clinic or be part of an outpatient service.

On 12 January 2016 the Registrar placed CAAAPU under special administration because an examination of the books showed it had incurred an operating loss of $233,000 for the 2014–15 financial year, was operating with insufficient working capital, and had poor internal financial management practices.

Within six months the special administrator, Peter McQuoid from PDM Consultancy, strengthened CAAAPU’s financial and operational management structures, and got CAAAPU back on track.

As a direct result of the improved management structure there was an almost immediate occupancy rate increase at CAAAPU’s residential clinic—from 43 per cent in the first half of the financial year to almost 100 per cent by mid June 2016.

A new CEO was employed who has extensive experience in managing alcohol and other drug rehabilitation services, including at the Alice Springs hospital. A new board of five directors was also appointed, including two independent directors with sector experience.

In addition, relationships were renewed with key organisations and agencies in Alice Springs, most notably the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation, the largest Aboriginal medical service in central Australia.

‘This special administration, which ended on 30 June 2016, was very effective,’ said the Registrar. ‘CAAAPU was back on its feet in a short time and without interruption to its important services. As a result of the special administration CAAAPU is now stronger as a place of "health, hope and healing" for Aboriginal people in central Australia.’

The Registrar will monitor the corporation closely for up to 12 months and has provided corporate governance training to the new directors.

For more information about CAAAPU see media releases of 30 June 2016 ORICMR1516-24: Fresh start for Alice Springs facility and 12 January 2016 ORICMR1516-10: Registrar orders treatment for Alice Springs facility.


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