Incorporated Aboriginal associations
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups may choose to become incorporated to:
- provide support to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- secure land
- seek greater recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- provide legal assistance
- develop infrastructure
- promote art, performance or music.
Ways to incorporate
Incorporation is voluntary for most groups, and there are several ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups can incorporate:
- with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC)
- under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act)
- under State or Territory associations legislation
- with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
- under the Corporations Act 2001.
Further information on registration options is available from the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations website.
There are advantages to an indigenous group in becoming a corporation under the CATSI Act:
- When they register the corporation, the members can choose not to be liable for the debts of the corporation.
- The rule book that governs how the corporation is run can take into account Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander customs and traditions.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations can operate nationally - they are not limited to the state or territory where they are registered.
- It is free to register as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation.
- Sometimes the Registrar may exempt corporations from lodging annual reports.
- Profits of the corporation can be distributed to members if the rule book allows for this.
- Corporations can access client assistance, support and information and training programs from the Registrar of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations.