School is back in for Minimbah

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Mr Anthony Beven, has today announced the end of the special administration at the Minimbah Pre-school, Primary School Aboriginal Corporation.

The corporation was established in 1987 and is located in Armidale, New South Wales. It provides pre-school and primary school education to about 139 Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal children in the Armidale region. The Registrar placed it under special administration on 24 November 2014 after an examination revealed that the corporation had traded at a loss for three consecutive years, had poor record keeping and inadequate controls over payments to directors and senior staff.

In just over six months the special administrator, Mr Brian Woods, has placed the corporation on a sound financial footing, implemented a new organisational structure and brought the corporation’s records up-to-date. All outstanding financial statements were prepared and audited and an arrangement was negotiated with the Australian Taxation Office to repay the corporation’s tax debt over several years.

The special administrator worked closely with an advisory group on a new rule book to open up membership to all Aboriginal members of the community, not just parents or guardians of children at the school. This has enabled community leaders and former students and parents to become or remain as members and contribute to the school. The rule book also now provides for the appointment of independent directors to the corporation’s board.

In conjunction with the Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales the special administrator has also arranged for construction to resume on the school’s unfinished
multi-purpose hall.

The special administrator has appointed a board of five directors, including three community elders, a parent and an independent director from The Armidale School, who has provided valuable support to the corporation during the special administration process. The Registrar will provide corporate governance training to the incoming directors in coming months.

‘It was important to achieve a successful outcome for this corporation so that it could continue providing strong educational and cultural outcomes to the children attending the school. I will continue to monitor the corporation closely over the next 12 months but the school now has a bright future,’ Mr Beven said.

Background                                                                         
See the Registrar’s media release of 24 November 2014 (ORICMR1415-15).

Media contact
Christa de Jager
(02) 6146 4737
ORIC MR1415-36
28 May 2015