THE Registered Aboriginal Party overseeing the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula areas entered “special administration” last month.
Registered Aboriginal Parties are appointed to provide advice and knowledge on Aboriginal places and Aboriginal objects in their region. Their responsibilities include evaluating cultural heritage management plans and cultural heritage permit applications.
The Bunurong Land Council is the appointed RAP for an area covering Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula, Kingston, Casey, Cardinia, Wyndham, and Bass Coast. It was placed into special administration on 11 September – a special administrator has been appointed to overhaul the organisation’s governance.
A Bunurong Land Council newsletter published last month read “Bunurong is under special administration because the Registrar of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations formed a view that the corporation was not being governed effectively or in the best interests of the corporation and its members.”
“Problems with governance and financial management have been going on for some time. The corporation hasn’t successfully held an AGM for the past 2 financial years, denying members their right to elect directors to govern the corporation on their behalf,” the newsletter read. “In March 2023 the Registrar appointed examiners to check the corporation’s books. The examiners confirmed poor standards of corporate governance and financial management, likely arising from long-standing dysfunction and factions among key roles in the corporation.”
The final stage of the special administration process will be to return control of the organisation to its members. It continues to hold events, and is currently advertising for executive and board positions.
The special administrator’s appointment is due to conclude on 15 March 2024.