Derbarl Yerrigan directors take action to address distress

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Selwyn Button has today placed the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Aboriginal Corporation under special administration.

Established in 1974, the corporation transferred its registration to the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) on 9 October 2017.

The corporation operates four health service clinics across the Perth metropolitan area—East Perth, Mirrabooka, Midland and Maddington—delivering a range of primary health programs and other health services such as mental health and dental. It is the largest Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation in Western Australia, with a reported revenue for the 2019 financial year in excess of $16 million. The corporation employs over 140 staff and has over 15,000 clients registered in its database.

On 5 November 2020, a majority of the corporation’s directors wrote to the Registrar requesting he appoint a special administrator. Special administration is unique to the CATSI Act. It’s a special measure that provides temporary protection and brings in independent professional assistance to address issues or challenges.

‘The board has embarked on a course of action enlisting professional assistance to navigate current difficulties and strengthen governance practices in the best interests of the corporation and the community it serves.’ said Mr Button. ‘There is no shame in seeking assistance. In fact they should be praised for taking sensible measures to turn a distressed corporation around.’

‘My office has discussed the corporation’s circumstances with its major funding bodies. They are supportive of the directors’ decision and committed to working with the corporation and special administrators to ensure the corporation has strong governance enabling it to deliver important services to the local Aboriginal community.’

‘Anyone concerned about impact or loss of services should note that the appointment of special administrators is intended to ensure the corporation will continue delivering services as usual.’

The Registrar has appointed Jack James and Paula Smith from Rodgers Reidy as the joint special administrators from 6 November to 5 February 2021.

Media contact

Lisa Hugg 0477 762 290 or (02) 6150 6237

ORIC MR2021-11
6 November 2020