Staff of the Darwin office, Hannah Roe and Margetta Avlonitis, look after corporations in the Top End and Tiwi Islands, and Arnhem Land and Groote Eylandt. (Hannah also manages the Broome office, although this role was reversed during her extended leave this year, when Sid Michels from the Broome office managed the Darwin office.) This year, Darwin staff describe a new corporation for remote Indigenous families whose children attend boarding school, and a sole trader corporation.

Hannah Roe and Marghetta Avlonitis, Darwin

Hannah Roe, regional manager and Yawuru woman, and Margetta Avlonitis, regional officer of Kungarakan and Warramungu (Northern Territory) descent

A group of Indigenous parents in the Roper Gulf region of the Northern Territory had a vision to start a peak national body for Indigenous families living in remote areas who have children at boarding school. Over the course of 18 months Hannah and Margetta attended various meetings with the parent group and the NT branch of Boarding Australia. They provided a workshop on the benefits of registering under the CATSI Act, walked the group through the steps involved in registering, and helped draft the rule book. The group put a lot of thought into their governance structure to ensure it reflected their vision of creating a peak national body that will grow as more regional branches are formed. The corporation was registered on 5 April 2017 as Remote Indigenous Parents Association National Indigenous Corporation. It has also successfully applied for assistance through ORIC’s LawHelp service.

The Darwin regional office has noticed an increase in interest from people wanting to register under the CATSI Act as a sole trader corporation. A sole trader corporation is one that has just one member and one director. An example of a sole trader corporation we have assisted this year is Babunbaree Aboriginal Corporation. In this case the sole trader wanted to transfer her registration from the Corporations Act 2001, regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Hannah and Margetta provided her with information she needed to proceed with the transfer. Their assistance concentrated on two areas: drafting the rule book to reflect the sole membership and directorship, and ensuring the relevant forms and exemptions were completed correctly. This support ensured a streamlined and stress-free transfer.