The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has announced the end of the special administration of the Lirrwi Yolngu Tourism Aboriginal Corporation (Lirrwi).
Based in Yirrkala, East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, the corporation operates a highly-regarded cultural tourism venture with local Yolngu homelands.
The corporation was placed under special administration after a majority of Lirrwi’s directors wrote to the Registrar in December 2015 requesting help in solving its financial and operational problems.
On 11 January 2016 the Registrar appointed Mr Brian Woods from the Cairns-based firm, DFK Kidsons, as the special administrator of the corporation.
The corporation has been returned to solvency through a debt compromise with most of the corporation’s creditors and funding support from the Northern Territory Government and several private sector donors.
To improve administrative and governance standards the corporation’s rule book has been updated and strengthened. Two independent directors with business and tourism expertise have joined the four member directors on the new board. In addition, a finance and management committee made up of directors and external financial experts has been established and will closely monitor Lirrwi’s financial performance.
Deloitte Private will also provide accounting and business reporting services to Lirrwi on a pro bono basis.
Lirrwi’s tour management processes have been improved to strengthen internal business management practices. Mr Aaron Shorthouse was also appointed in May 2016 to manage Lirrwi’s day‑to‑day operations and the Commonwealth Bank has generously provided secondees to work with the corporation. Lirrwi is currently taking bookings for tours and tour information can be found at www.lirrwitourism.com.au.
‘Lirrwi’s cultural tours are an important part of connecting non-Aboriginal Australia with the culture and country of the Yolngu people. It also provides meaningful employment and business opportunities for people in their homelands,’ said Mr Beven. ‘Lirrwi has been through a difficult time but the private sector and all levels of government have come together to work with Yolngu people to keep this important corporation in business.’
The Registrar’s office will monitor the corporation over the next 12 months and also offer governance training for the new directors as soon as practical.
Patricia Gibson (02) 6146 4743
2 September 2016