Gunaikurnai native title corporation back in members’ control

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has today announced the end of the special administration of the Gunaikurnai Land & Waters Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (GLaWAC). 

GLaWAC is the registered native title body corporate that manages the cultural heritage and native title and rights and interests of the Gunai and Kurnai people. It is based near Lakes Entrance in Victoria and has over 600 members.

The corporation runs a successful ranger program as part of its joint management of 10 parks and reserves in the Gippsland region. It also provides work crews and cultural heritage experts who work with government and non-government bodies to protect, preserve and rehabilitate country and cultural sites.

The Registrar placed the corporation into special administration on 7 November 2016 after an examination raised concerns about financial losses and disputes within the corporation. The former directors of the corporation recognised the need for change and supported the decision of the Registrar.

Over the last six months the special administrator has improved the corporation’s financial management practices, resolved outstanding claims of creditors, recruited a new CEO and secured long term funding for the corporation’s operations. The governance structures of the corporation have also been strengthened with a review of the corporation's rule book and the appointment of two independent directors to the board.

The corporation is forecasting a small surplus for the current financial year.

GLaWAC’s status as a registered Aboriginal party (RAP) under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (Vic) was cancelled when the special administrator was appointed. GLaWAC has today applied to have its status re-instated now that it is out of special administration.

‘This has been a highly successful special administration,’ said Mr Beven. ‘The corporation has enormous potential with significant natural and cultural assets, as well as a large pool of skilled and dedicated staff, members and directors. I am confident that GLaWAC is well placed to turn its potential into real outcomes for the Gunai and Kurnai people.’

Media contact

Lisa Hugg

(02) 6146 4738

ORIC MR1617-21

5 May 2017