The former chair of the Durri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service (Durri), Mr Tony Gray, today received a 12 month sentence in the Port Macquarie Local Court for dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage from Durri. The sentence was fully suspended on the condition that Mr Gray enters into a good behaviour bond for 12 months.
In October 2010 Mr Gray claimed that his personal vehicle had been damaged after hitting a kangaroo while he was driving to a Durri meeting. He claimed and was paid $4,406.55 by Durri to repair his vehicle. In fact, Mr Gray’s vehicle had not been involved in an accident and the claim was to pay for unrelated repairs to the vehicle’s engine.
Magistrate Hodgson in the Port Macquarie Local Court also ordered Mr Gray to pay $4,406.55 compensation to Durri. Mr Gray was charged under section 192E(1) of the New South Wales Crimes Act and had pleaded guilty to the charge at an earlier appearance in October 2013.
In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Hodgson said that he had seriously considered imprisonment but had taken into account Mr Gray’s past community involvement and his guilty plea.
Durri is registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) and is a large not-for-profit organisation looking after the health needs of Aboriginal people in and around Kempsey on the mid-north coast of New South Wales.
The conviction follows a joint investigation by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, and the New South Wales Police.
‘A chairperson plays an important leadership role in any corporation,’ said Mr Beven. ‘Today’s decision sends a strong message that no matter how small the amount involved there are consequences for a chairperson if they misuse their position for personal gain.’
Mr Beven commended the New South Wales Police for its assistance in the joint investigation and prosecution. It is the second time that the two organisations have worked together in the last 18 months to address corporate wrongdoing.
For further information about this matter see the Registrar’s media release of 14 October 2013 (ORICMR1314-10) at www.oric.gov.au.
(02) 6146 4743
9 December 2013