The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has today placed the Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation (Larrakia Nation) under special administration.
Larrakia Nation is a large community service corporation based in Darwin in the Northern Territory. It’s funded by both the Australian and Northern Territory governments to deliver essential support services and develop business opportunities for local Aboriginal people. Larrakia Nation’s activities include night patrol, homelessness support, land care and sea monitoring through the Larrakia Rangers, and the preservation of the Larrakia people’s culture and knowledge.
Larrakia Nation is however best known for its Return to Home program that helps Aboriginal people in Darwin to return to their home communities. In 2013–14 the corporation returned 3,801 people to their communities under the program.
In mid-April 2016 concerns were raised with the Registrar about Larrakia’s financial position, which led to the suspension of some activities, including the Return to Home program.
On 29 April 2016 the Registrar wrote to the directors of Larrakia Nation explaining ways in which his office could assist. ‘During May 2016 the Larrakia directors were in almost daily contact with my office as they worked through possible solutions,’ said Mr Beven. ‘The Northern Territory Government also assisted the directors by providing an external accountant to review and report on the finances of the corporation.’
On 1 June 2016 a majority of Larrakia’s directors wrote to the Registrar requesting the appointment of a special administrator.
The Registrar has appointed Gerry Mier and Anthony Jonsson from the Cairns-based firm of Grant Thornton Australia as the special administrators for a period of six months.
‘I commend the directors for seeking my assistance once they realised they were not able to resolve the corporation’s issues themselves,’ said Mr Beven. ‘The special administrators will work closely with Larrakia Nation’s members and stakeholders to help resolve the corporation’s financial problems so it can continue its important services.’
For more information about special administrations see the Registrar’s fact sheet Special administrations: what members and directors should know available at www.oric.gov.au.
Patricia Gibson (02) 6146 4743
6 June 2016
Gerry Mier and Anthony Jonsson
Grant Thornton Australia
Phone: (07) 4046 8888