Darwin-based legal service seeks assistance

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has today placed the North Australian Aboriginal Family Violence Legal Service - Aboriginal Corporation under special administration. This action follows a request from the corporation's directors for assistance.

The corporation is funded by the Attorney-General's Department to deliver essential support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and children who are the victims of family violence and sexual abuse, or who are at risk. Based in Darwin, the corporation looks after 16 communities across the Northern Territory's Top End.

'While I am aware of recent investigations and reviews of this corporation that indicate some serious anomalies,' said Mr Beven, 'I also applaud the directors for requesting external help. The special administration will address some structural issues and all allegations around improper payments and the misappropriation of public money.'

Mr Austin Taylor and Mr Stuart Reid from the Darwin-based firm of Meertens have been appointed as the joint and several special administrators. They are experienced administrators and already have a sound knowledge about the corporation's activities.

'Many families in the Top End rely on the services provided by the corporation,' said Mr Beven. 'The appointment of special administrators will ensure that the services continue while important changes are made and the investigations are completed.'

Background: Special administration is a special measure under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 which helps corporations to fix their problems. The aim of the process is to restore a corporation to good health and once this is achieved to return control to members as soon as possible. For more information please see ORIC's fact sheet Special administrations: what members and directors should know available at www.oric.gov.au.

5 March 2012

Media contact
Patricia Gibson (02) 6146 4743
Ref: ORIC MR1112-24