VIC What Can We Do About CEO Issue within Aboriginal Corporation?

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21 November 2014
Hi. An aboriginal corporation I work for has a board of 7 members (including COB who is not the CEO). The then board decided not to re-sign the CEO up for a further term of employment. Of the 7 members, 4 decided not to continue the CEO's employment, the other 3 wanted her to continue. The main problem being that 2 of those 3 are the CEO’s son and nephew.

There are approximately 40 employees, around half of which are related (by blood or marriage) to the then CEO. The 3 CEO cronies called for a meeting to sack the other 4 board members (including COB). The way they went about this was particularly bad, but the meeting happened. Signed up community members are the only people who may vote for the new board.

The issue is that many non-voting CEO cronies took up space that prevented other signed community members from casting their votes. Consequently, the new board now has 5 relatives and cronies of the then CEO plus all the relatives that actually work for the corporation. There is every likelihood that the ex CEO will be reinstated. There is also specific targeting of covert harassment to non CEO relatives or cronies.

Help. What can we do under commercial law?

Michael T

Well-Known Member
9 April 2014
Hi Karen. I think ORIC (the Office if the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations) will be able to guide you in the right direction. ORIC helps manage disputes by offering:
  • an advisory opinion—a formal letter giving an opinion about the situation in dispute
  • advice—by telephone, face-to-face or email to try to quickly fix issues that are not too complex
  • conferencing—facilitated informal meetings of parties involved in the dispute
  • ORIC staff—to attend corporation meetings as observers, to present information or provide advice.
All corporations should have a rule about dispute resolution in their rule book. You should check yours to see what it says about disputes. Contact ORIC if you need help. For more information on dispute resolution see policy statement 22 or our fact sheet on dispute resolution.

Got a question? Call ORIC on 1800 622 431 or email [email protected]

See their ‘Dispute resolution’ page for more information. You could perhaps make an initial call on an anonymous basis. It also may be worthwhile to consult the corporation's rule book because the CEO and members of the Board must comply with the rule book and the

Hope that helps.