Clean bill of health for Urapuntja Health Service

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Selwyn Button has today announced the end of the special administration of the Urapuntja Health Service Aboriginal Corporation.

Urapuntja Health provides primary health care services for around 1000 Indigenous people living in or visiting the Utopia homelands region. It delivers services through a primary clinic as well as an outreach service to all 15 outstations on a weekly basis.

On 28 January 2020 the Registrar placed the corporation under special administration without the usual show cause procedure, when essential community services were suddenly and unexpectedly closed to protect the safety and wellbeing of staff.

‘Urapuntja Health is the oldest registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation in the country and provides a vital service to a remote community. My office acted swiftly to assist the corporation and ensure community services weren’t lost,’ Mr Button said.

The special administrators moved quickly to restore services by engaging security to safeguard staff during ordinary and emergency on-call services. They then worked with the corporation’s senior management to transition staff safely back to work.

Soon after the coronavirus pandemic took hold, affecting all health services, particularly by restricting access to communities.

Despite being a uniquely challenging time, for the majority of the special administration period, Urapuntja Health has successfully delivered full services to its clients under a unique model of care. I’m pleased to say they are now well placed to continue doing so,’ said Mr Button.

The special administrators have recruited a new chief executive officer, negotiated new lease arrangement for the corporation’s clinic location, and revised the governance structure to a streamlined more professionally-focused board, providing more opportunities for people living on outstations to participate in the decision-making of the corporation through advisory committee roles representing each outstation.

The Registrar will monitor the corporation’s progress following the special administration.


See the Registrar’s previous media release of 28 January 2020: Registrar triage: NT health service requires special care (MR1920-10).

Media contact

Lisa Hugg 0477 762 290 or (02) 6150 6237

ORIC MR2021-03   10 July 2020