Troubled SA Indigenous group Adnyamathanha put into administration

REFORM: Robert Wilton, left, Enice Marsh and Charlie Jackson were at an Aboriginal Reform Group of SA meeting in Port Augusta last year when members called for a review of the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association.
REFORM: Robert Wilton, left, Enice Marsh and Charlie Jackson were at an Aboriginal Reform Group of SA meeting in Port Augusta last year when members called for a review of the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association.

The controversial Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association - featured in a report in the Canberra Times last year - has been put into special administration.

The decision was made on Wednesday by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.

It follows long-running criticism of the affairs of the Port Augusta-based corporation which represents 2000 people.

Previously, the group - which receives royalties from the Beverley uranium mine in the outback- was being examined by the office.

Aboriginal lawyers Bevan Mailman and Brian Bero, both of Melbourne, have been appointed as administrators.

In a notice on the office's website, Kevin Vu, delegate of the registrar, said a "show cause" notice had been served on the association under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act on February 7.

"Having considered the representations made by the corporation ... I am satisfied that one or more of the grounds specified by the Act have been established," he said.

"I have determined that the corporation is to be under special administration until June 30."

The Aboriginal Reform Group of South Australia has waged a campaign for a review of the corporation's activities.

The Transcontinental is seeking comment from the association.

Reform group member, Adnyamathanha woman and accountant Sally Marsh, of Adelaide, said all Adnyamathanha were entitled to be members of the association.

LEADER: Vince Coulthard is chairman of the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association.

LEADER: Vince Coulthard is chairman of the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association.

She said she had offered her accountancy skills to the group, but found no support.

"We have been waiting on tenterhooks for this for weeks," she said.

"We are happy that the association has been placed into administration. We are delighted that two Aboriginal lawyers have been appointed as the administrators.

"We believe this is a really unique situation for Aboriginal people to deal with serious Aboriginal issues. We can deal with them ourselves.

"This is an important step in the right direction.

"The reform group has put together a team of Aboriginal people and some external advisers who we feel are well equipped to deal with this situation.

"We look forward to being able to assist the administrators and the office in moving our Adnyamathanha Native Title in a direction that will benefit all Adnyamathanha people."

Transcontinental editor Greg Mayfield was given an honourable mention at the Country Press SA newspaper awards last month for his coverage of events surrounding the association.

Judge of the journalism excellence category Kym Tilbrook said Mayfield had "tackled the thorny and divisive unrest" around the association.

This story Troubled SA Indigenous group put into administration first appeared on The Transcontinental.