NSW social housing and care provider placed under special administration

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Selwyn Button, has placed the Woomera Aboriginal Corporation Albury (Woomera) under special administration.

Established in 1990 and located in Albury, NSW, Woomera operates as a social housing and statutory out-of-home care provider. It also operates a pre-school and provides a variety of family support services to the local Albury community and surrounding areas.

Various stakeholders of the corporation made complaints about the corporation’s standard of corporate governance and decision-making processes. There has been a high level of staff turnover and disputes between directors interfering with the proper conduct of the corporation’s affairs.

In particular, there are serious concerns about the board’s understanding and compliance with its statutory out-of-home care and related legislative requirements. The NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian has deferred renewal of the corporation’s accreditation as an out-of-home care provider.

ORIC appointed an independent examiner to examine the corporation in March 2019. The examiner identified a number of concerns at board level that had affected delivery of services.

‘Following the examination my office issued the corporation a show cause notice asking why it should not be placed under special administration,’ said Mr Button. ‘The corporation responded with a proposed action plan. However concerns still exist regarding the corporation’s capability to execute the plan and achieve turnaround, including confidence of funding agencies in their ability to resolve current issues.’

The Registrar has appointed Andrew Bowcher and Tim Gumbleton from RSM as joint special administrators until 29 November 2019.

Background

For more information about special administrations see the Registrar’s fact sheet Special administrations: what members and directors should know.

Media contact

Lisa Hugg (02) 6146 4738 or 0477 762 290

ORIC MR1819-15
28 May 2019