Alice Springs

Dayna Lister and George Donaldson look after corporations in the southern half of the Northern Territory and all of South Australia, working from the Alice Springs office. This year, they share two stand-out stories, of a quick turnaround special administration, and a unique transfer in registration.

Dayna Lister and George Donaldson, Alice Springs

Dayna Lister, regional manager and Arrernte/Luritja woman, and George Donaldson, regional officer and Wongatha man

Kanparrka Store Aboriginal Corporation provides food to the community of Ikuntji. The directors contacted ORIC because they were concerned they were being denied access to financial information. Passionate about wanting the best for the corporation, they asked for support to regain control. Dayna and George met with them several times, and liaised between them and ORIC’s Canberra office about initiating a special administration—answering directors’ questions, and explaining the local issues to the Regulation team. At the directors’ request the Registrar appointed a special administrator.

Three months later, the money story was sorted and the corporation was handed back to the members in a strong position to go forward. The Registrar acknowledged the directors were not at fault and had done the right thing by asking for help, and Dayna and George arranged to provide training to further strengthen Kanparrka Store’s governance.

The Yuendumu Social Club Inc. is located in the largest remote Aboriginal community in Central Australia. The association operates a community store known locally as ‘the big shop’, and was incorporated under the Associations Act (NT). Following management concerns and external pressure, the governing committee decided to engage Mai Wiru Regional Stores Council Aboriginal Corporation to manage the store on its behalf.

Mai Wiru agreed to manage the store from 1 April on the condition that the Yuendumu Social Club transfer its incorporation to the CATSI Act. The Yuendumu Social Club committee would maintain its decision-making responsibilities and gain access to governance support from ORIC.

It was already March when the association agreed to transfer its registration—so the timeframe was very tight. Dayna and George immediately arranged to visit the community to meet with Mai Wiru and the committee of the Yuendumu Social Club to talk through the required steps. As the regulator of the Associations Act (NT), liaison with the NT Department of Business was also required. It was important that both regulatory bodies worked closely to clarify the requirements of the transfer and to ensure all steps were taken. For example, the NT Department of Business identified that the association held a perpetual lease over the land where the store and club were located, which added more complexity to the transfer process.

On 31 March 2017, the Yuendumu Social Club Aboriginal Corporation was registered under the CATSI Act, and Mai Wiru Regional Stores Council Aboriginal Corporation began managing ‘the big shop’ on behalf of the board of directors.