Former director of Orana appears on fraud charges

Ms Sandra Gail Newman, a former director and manager of Orana Aboriginal Corporation, today appeared in the Dubbo Local Court on 81 charges involving dishonesty under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

The charges follow an investigation conducted by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Mr Anthony Beven.

Orana Aboriginal Corporation is based in Wellington, New South Wales, and provides training and employment services for Aboriginal people in the local area.

It is alleged that between 1 November 2009 and 1 October 2010 Ms Newman acted dishonestly in causing 80 separate payments, totalling $67,776.85, to be made to her by Orana Aboriginal Corporation. Prior approval for these payments had not been obtained from the members of Orana Aboriginal Corporation as required under section 284-1 of the CATSI Act.

Ms Newman is also charged under section 265-25(1) of the CATSI Act with not acting in good faith in the best interests of the corporation or for a proper purpose.

‘This is the first time charges of dishonesty of this type have been brought under the CATSI Act,’ said Mr Beven. ‘Directors must always do what is right for the corporation and not exercise their powers for their own personal benefit.’

Ms Newman is to appear again in the Dubbo Local Court on 9 January 2013.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Media contact
Patricia Gibson
(02) 6146 4743
5 December 2012
ORIC MR1213-21