Governance boost benefits biggest Aboriginal medical service in the west

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

Derbarl Yerrigan is the largest Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation in Western Australia, operating clinics in East Perth, Mirrabooka, Midland and Maddington. Established in 1974, it transferred its registration to the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 in late 2017.

In November 2020, the board was struggling to come together to make decisions in the best interests of clients and members. In response, a majority of directors requested appointment of a special administrator. The special administration began on 6 November 2020 and was recently extended for three weeks in the face of the recent lockdown in Perth due to Covid-19.

‘The rule book has been amended to ensure the board is a high-performing team capable of achieving strategic objectives,’ said Mr Button. ‘Member directors are now subject to stricter eligibility requirements. They must have relevant knowledge, sign a confidentiality deed and obtain a national police check, to ensure they meet required regulatory standards for directors of health care organisations.’

‘Previously, Derbarl Yerrigan’s independent directors had no voting rights and were not required for quorum at board meetings. Now, the rules better recognise their contribution, and their equal responsibility for decisions made by the board.’

Service data confirm the special administration’s success. Having performed 285 health checks in December 2020, in January 2021 the corporation performed 426—the highest number for years. January figures also showed a 21 per cent increase in the corporation’s back-to-school incentive program for child health checks.

The Registrar’s office will monitor the corporation for the next 12 months.


See also the Registrar’s previous media release, Derbarl Yerrigan directors take action to address distress, 6 November 2020

Media contact

Lisa Hugg, 0477 762 290,

ORIC MR2021-14
26 February 2021