02/03/2021 - 11:30

Derbarl Yerrigan out of administration

02/03/2021 - 11:30

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WA’s largest Aboriginal health service has come out of administration after appointing a new board and modernising its governance rules, with independent directors given voting powers.

Derbarl Yerrigan out of administration
Derbarl Yerrigan operates four health clinics across Perth. Photo: David Henry

Western Australia’s largest Aboriginal health service has come out of administration after appointing a new board and modernising its governance rules, with independent directors given voting powers.

The Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Selwyn Button, announced last Friday the end of the special administration of Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Aboriginal Corporation.

This comes three months after the registrar appointed Jack James and Paula Smith from Perth firm Rodgers Reidy as the joint special administrators.

The appointment was requested by a majority of the corporation’s directors.

In a final report to members, the special administrators said Derbarl Yerrigan was in a good financial position.

It posted a net surplus of $261,000 for the seven months to the end of January 2021 and had net assets of $4.4 million.

The corporation’s new board comprises five member directors and two independent directors.

The member directors include Sandra Eades, who was appointed chair in April last year.

The independent directors are Rick Brooks and Helen Swift.

Mr Brooks is a consultant and business adviser who led a review of The General Gumala Foundation in 2018, while Ms Swift is a consultant and executive coach.

Mr Button said Derbarl Yerrigan’s rule book has been amended to ensure the board is a high-performing team capable of achieving strategic objectives.

“Member directors are now subject to stricter eligibility requirements,” he said.

“They must have relevant knowledge, sign a confidentiality deed and obtain a national police check, to ensure they meet required regulatory standards for directors of health care organisations.”

He added that Derbarl Yerrigan’s independent directors previously had no voting rights and were not required for quorum at board meetings.

“Now, the rules better recognise their contribution, and their equal responsibility for decisions made by the board.”

Mr Button said service data showed an improvement in Derbarl Yerrigan’s performance, in areas such as number of health checks and its back-to-school incentive program for child health checks.

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