Yindjibarndi group board ruled invalid
Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation has welcomed a Supreme Court decision to refer the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation to the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.
Supreme Court Justice Rene Le Miere found the organisation had not validly appointed directors and therefore a directors’ meeting, and the resolutions passed at the meeting in December, were invalid.
Justice Le Miere is now considering whether it is necessary to appoint a receiver to YAC and the case is due back in court today.
John Sandy, who brought the case, said he hoped the decision would give the Yindjibarndi people a chance to repair the deep divisions in their community.
“I’m optimistic that this finding will give us a fresh start to unite all Yindjibarndi people under a truly representative organisation,” he said.
“We are all Yindjibarndi people, we share a common history and I believe we can unite for a better future.”
Mr Sandy’s lawyer, Martin Bennett, told the court the entire YAC board had ceased to hold office since last year’s November 30 annual general meeting, in which no directors achieved the required 75 per cent majority.
He went on to tell the court a subsequent meeting of directors on December 16 was invalid, as was the resolution at that meet- ing to grant 46 new YAC memberships.
“Many of the memberships granted at the December meeting were to applicants who had previously been rejected,” he said.
YAC director Middleton Cheedy testified in court that the granting of memberships was aimed at putting an end to the dispute.
YAC chief executive Michael Woodley also gave evidence at the trial.
Mr Sandy said he hoped the referral to ORIC would pave the way for all Yindjibarndi people to come together again.
The two Roebourne-based corporations have been at loggerheads for years over a mining royalties dispute involving Fortescue Metals Group.