Katungul has employed an acting CEO after Jon Rogers resigned from the role “for personal reasons”.
Roger Williams will head up Katungul Aboriginal Community Corporation and Medical Service on an interim basis to help the organisation through the recruitment process of a replacement.
The organisation has seen a phenomenal turnaround since being placed under special administration by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations’ Anthony Beven in December 2011 following mismanagement by former CEO Damien Matcham.
Mr Matcham brought the organisation to its knees, embezzling the multi-million dollar organisation to the point where it had as little as $2400 to its name.
The federal court in Sydney ordered Mr Matcham to pay $1.2million in fines and compensation in early 2014 before he filed for voluntary bankruptcy six months later, putting an end to legal proceedings.
The resignation of Mr Rogers has brought up memories of the organisation’s recent turbulent past, still fresh in the minds of many in the community.
Djiringanj elder Stanley Murrum Dixon has been using the service since 2008.
“I’m worried about it and the elders are concerned because it’s one of the biggest corporations in the area,” he said.
“We the elders put it together for the people and our children and I don’t want things to break down.
“We haven’t been told anything – there are just rumours going around.
“It’s for us and the people, not the board,” he said.
“The funding it gets is for us, so it needs to be accountable for the community.”
Another client with many health issues who wished not to be named said that while the organisation was now back in the green, services had “gone backwards” in recent times.
The organisation, which has the backing of the AMA, services communities from Eden to Batemans Bay and has offices in Bega and Narooma.
In August it received over $1million as part of the federal government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
Special administrator Alan Eldridge appointed Mr Rogers as CEO of Katungul in September 2012, along with a new board.