Good corporate governance in place at Yuendumu

The members of the Yuendumu Women's Centre Aboriginal Corporation have regained control of their corporation after the special administration ended at midnight last night. The members and directors have improved skills for looking after their corporation and the corporation is in a stronger position after just four months under special administration.

The Registrar appointed a special administrator in May 2009 after the directors of the corporation wrote to ask for help to improve corporate governance standards.

The corporation was established in 1990 and provides a range of important services for women living in and around the Yuendumu community. The Yuendumu community is about 300 km north-west of Alice Springs and has a population of around 700–800 people. The corporation also owns the Nguru Walalja store.

‘Directors are responsible for setting the direction for their corporation.’ Mr Beven said. ‘The women at Yuendumu are strong and made it a priority to know and understand how to lead their corporation better.

‘When an examination by my office confirmed they had been excluded from important decision making they set about to change their situation.’

During the special administration there have been no interruptions to store trading and other important services delivered by the corporation have also continued. The corporation has also secured funding for 2009–10 to run a safe house, night patrol services and the school nutrition program.

At an annual general meeting in August members were presented with audited accounts for 2006–07 and 2007–08. Members also elected new directors to start duties when the special administration ends.

‘There is a high level of local support and interest in the success of the corporation,’ Mr Beven said. ‘During the special administration the corporation has adopted a new rule book that better reflects its position in the community, attracted new members, appointed a new CEO and signed a new management agreement for the store’.

Special administration is a special measure under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 that is intended to help corporations work through difficult circumstances and return stronger corporations back to their members.

Lisa Donnelly
02 6219 7611
17 September 2009
ORIC MR0910-08