Charges against the former chief executive officer of an Aboriginal corporation, Ms Pamela Malden, were before the Darwin Court of Summary Jurisdiction yesterday following investigations by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA).
Ms Malden faces six charges of misusing her position to gain an advantage for herself or others and a further five charges of creating and lodging false documents. The charges have been laid under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 and the Criminal Code (Commonwealth) and carry maximum penalties of between five years imprisonment and/or a fine of $220 000 and up to 10 years imprisonment.
Ms Malden was the CEO of Yuendumu Women’s Centre Aboriginal Corporation (YWCAC) from 2005 to 2009.
It is alleged that Ms Malden:
- dishonestly used her position to make a number of payments between May 2008 and May 2009, totalling over $60 000, from the YWCAC account to herself or to pay for personal expenses
- knowingly made a false statement in a document lodged with the Registrar on 11 January 2011
- knowingly used false documents with the intention of dishonestly influencing a Commonwealth public official in the performance of his duty or function between January 2008 and January 2009.
The matter has been adjourned until 5 March 2012 to allow Ms Malden to seek legal advice.
YWCAC is located in Yuendumu, Northern Territory. Yuendumu lies 293 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs and is one of the larger remote Aboriginal communities in central Australia. It is a community of over 800 and the majority of the people are Warlpiri.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.
1 February 2012
Lisa Hugg Ph: (02) 6146 4738
Ref: ORIC MR1112-20