Uncertain future for Diwurruwurru-Jaru

The future of a Northern Territory Aboriginal corporation is uncertain after it came out of special administration today.

Diwurruwurru-Jaru* Aboriginal Corporation was incorporated in 1992 and operated the Katherine Language Centre in the Northern Territory.

In June 2010, the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, agreed to place Diwurruwurru-Jaru under special administration after a request for help from the corporation’s directors.

The corporation will be handed back to its members today when the special administration ends. The special administrator, Andrew West of Andrew West and Associates, has paid all the creditors of the corporation but has been unable to obtain new funding to allow the corporation to keep the Katherine Language Centre open.

The special administrator has recommended to the members of the corporation that it cease trading until new funding is obtained.

‘The corporation has provided important cultural services in the Katherine region for many years and the directors did the right thing by asking my office for help when the corporation experienced difficulties,’ Mr Beven said.

In more than 70 per cent of special administrations commenced by the Registrar the corporation is handed back to members in a stronger position and it is able to continue to trade. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Diwurruwurru-Jaru Aboriginal Corporation.

‘The financial position at Diwurruwurru-Jaru was worse than originally anticipated. Without a new injection of funding, the decision to stop the corporation trading and to end the special administration, although difficult to make, was necessary,’ Mr Beven said.

Although the Katherine Language Centre has closed the corporation is solvent and the special administrator has met with members and former directors to discuss possible new roles and activities for the corporation.

* ‘Diwurruwurru’ is an Alawa word for letterstick while ‘jaru’ is a Ngumlom word for story

3 December 2010
Contact: Donna Murray
Tel: (02) 6219 7658
Ref: ORIC MR1011-17