Successful Aboriginal retailer transfers to the CATSI Act

The successful Aboriginal-owned and controlled retailer Arnhem Land Progress Association has today transferred its operations from the Associations Act 2003 (NT) to the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

ALPA was set up in 1972 as a cooperative of community stores in Arnhem Land communities. Since this time it has expanded its activities significantly, reaching an annual turnover of $29 million. It is one of the largest financially independent Indigenous employers in Australia and the third largest retailer in the Northern Territory.

‘Our successful retail operations allow us to make a positive contribution to the social and economic development of our members,’ said the chairman of ALPA, Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, OAM.

‘We decided the CATSI Act was a good fit for our organisation because it allows us to set up a corporate structure that suits our needs,’ Rev. Gondarra said.

‘We were also attracted by the support and training services that ORIC provides for its corporations.’

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Mr Anthony Beven, has welcomed ALPA’s application to register as a corporation.

‘ALPA is a thriving organisation, proving that economic success and cultural obligations can work together in business,’ Mr Beven said.

‘They deserve praise for their good corporate governance practices by making sure directors and members understand their business and legal obligations.’

Most of ALPA’s members do not speak English as their first language. ALPA employs an interpreter and use visual aids during meetings to convey financial matters, legal requirements, organisational information and other governance issues. ORIC will also be assisting ALPA to translate their constitution into the language of its members, Yolgnu Matha to ensure greater understanding of the organisation’s rules.

ORIC aims to deliver its services in a way that takes account of the special needs, requirements and risks of Indigenous corporations within the context of Australian and international best practice on sound corporate governance.

Contact:
ORIC: Lisa Donnelly 02 6219 7611
ALPA: Alistair King 08 8944 6444
7 November 2008
ORIC MR0809–12