Media statement: No relationship between potential special administration and COVID-19 vaccine program

Statement from the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations:

While it is not the normal practice of ORIC to comment on the nature of an individual examination or show cause notice I am concerned about media coverage yesterday that discusses ORIC’s regulatory action and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine program in communities served by Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation. 

I am concerned that some media reporting may be conflating the two issues and fuelling false rumours in community about problems accessing the vaccine. I’m especially concerned the coverage could contribute to vaccine hesitancy. 

There is no concern from ORIC that Sunrise Health Service needs help delivering vaccines. 

The National COVID Vaccine Taskforce is working in partnership with Sunrise Health Service in the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine program. Sunrise Health are also working in partnership with the Royal Flying Doctors Service to provide additional access to COVID vaccines for all community members in the communities Sunrise Health service. 

Special administration is a special measure unique to the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006. It’s important to understand that it is not designed in any way to diminish services being provided by Indigenous corporations, rather the opposite—to ensure that essential services continue, particularly in remote communities for vulnerable people. 

Again, I’d like to emphasise and reassure all clients of Sunrise Health Service that the regulatory action of ORIC is not related to the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

If you live in a Sunrise community please speak with Sunrise health workers in your community or drop into your closest clinic to speak to someone to understand more about the vaccine and how to get a dose.

11 August 2021