A former CEO of the Yuendumu Women’s Centre Aboriginal Corporation, Ms Pamela Malden, has pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory to three charges brought by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, and four charges brought by another Commonwealth agency.
Justice Blokland today sentenced Ms Malden to an aggregate sentence of 15 months imprisonment commencing 23 May 2013. Ms Malden is to be released after three months on a $2,000 bond to be of good behaviour for three years. Ms Malden was also ordered to repay the Yuendumu Women’s Centre Aboriginal Corporation the amount of $41,746.23.
Three of the charges related to Ms Malden misusing her position for a personal gain of $11,746.23 in cash and $30,000 towards the purchase of a new four-wheel drive. Ms Malden also pleaded guilty and was sentenced on a further four charges of creating and lodging false financial reports with funding bodies.
The charges were brought under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 and the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Ms Malden was the CEO of the Yuendumu Women’s Centre Aboriginal Corporation (YWCAC) from 2005 to 2009.
In her sentencing remarks, Justice Blokland stated that ‘the breach of trust involved in this offending is of a high order. The women of the Yuendumu corporation are an extremely vulnerable group who rely on people like Ms Malden to be honest about what they do and to assist them to improve their community.’
YWCAC is located in the community of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory, approximately 300 kilometres northwest of Alice Springs. It is a charitable organisation run by the Aboriginal women of Yuendumu and owns a large community store and provides services primarily to women and families.
Anthony Beven said, ‘Senior staff hold important positions of trust in Aboriginal corporations. Ms Malden abused that position of trust for her own benefit and the Aboriginal women and families of Yuendumu suffered as a result. I am committed to taking action to ensure high standards from those in such positions of trust.’
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.
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4 June 2013