THE former head of Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Services embezzled more than $700,000 the Federal Court has found.
Registrar of Indigenous Corporations Anthony Beven has noted declarations made on Wednesday in the Federal Court against Damien Matcham, the former CEO of Katungul.
Justice Jacobson made 25 declarations of contravention by Mr Matcham in relation to a series of unauthorised payments to himself from Katungul’s funds amounting to in excess of $700,000.
Justice Jacobson declared that Mr Matcham had not exercised due care and diligence, had not acted in good faith in the best interests of the corporation and had improperly used his position as CEO to gain a personal advantage and to cause detriment to Katungul.
Katungul is a not-for-profit corporation that provides essential primary and secondary health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living on the Far South Coast.
“This is an important decision,” Mr Beven said.
“It sends a very clear message that chief executive officers are in an important position of trust and leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations, and there are serious consequences if they misuse their position.”
Justice Jacobson adjourned the proceedings until November 13 when he will hear submissions from the Registrar and Mr Matcham on penalty orders.
The Registrar is seeking an order disqualifying Mr Matcham from managing companies and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander corporations, pecuniary penalties and an order requiring Mr Matcham to pay compensation to Katungul.
“This is a good outcome and it is pleasing to see that truth and justice have prevailed for Katungul and its members and clients,” Mr Beven said.