The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, has today placed the Woolah Aboriginal Corporation under special administration.
The Woolah community (also known as Doon Doon) is about 115 kilometres from Kununurra in Australia’s north-west. It was established in the mid-1970s within the boundaries of the Doon Doon Pastoral Station. In 1980 the Woolah Aboriginal Corporation was established to help with the development of the community and to provide essential services, such as health, housing and job opportunities. The population of the community is fewer than 100 people.
In September 2015 the Registrar conducted an examination of the corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Doon Doon Community Store Pty Ltd, which operates a roadhouse on the Great Northern Highway offering Aboriginal cultural tours, refreshments and souvenirs.
Shortly after the examination’s completion, the corporation suffered the tragic loss of one of its most skilled and experienced directors.
While the corporation and the Doon Doon roadhouse were solvent the examination revealed that the corporation would benefit from external assistance to improve its corporate governance and financial management. The directors agreed and asked the Registrar to place the corporation under special administration.
‘Woolah is going through a difficult time and so it’s understandable that the directors should write to me for help,’ said Mr Beven. ‘Woolah is one of our oldest Aboriginal corporations, it provides some important community services and manages a popular roadhouse on which travellers rely. My office will do all it can to work with the members and the community to strengthen the corporation and its subsidiary.’
The Registrar has appointed Mr Andrew West from the Adelaide-based firm of Andrew H West & Associates as the special administrator of the corporation until 30 June 2016.
With support from the Registrar’s office Mr West will work closely with the members of Woolah Aboriginal Corporation to remedy its governance problems and to secure its future.
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.
(02) 6146 4743
18 January 2016
Andrew H West & Associates
0410 553 784