Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation community meeting earns mixed reviews

A MEETING held to discuss management issues at Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation has been described as both positive and “a complete whitewash” by different people who attended.

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation chief executive Jill Gallagher said Thursday’s community meeting heard about future plans to improve governance and finances at the Wodonga Indigenous group.

An interim chief executive seconded from VACCHO, Yorta Yorta woman Belinda Stevens will begin on July 31 while the next community meeting is planned for August 23.

Recruiting a permanent Mungabareena chief executive will be a top priority while expressions of interest to fill the present board vacancies are being sought.

Ms Gallagher said VACCHO would offer governance training to board and community members and a coach would attend every board meeting.

“The community endorsed and supported what we are going to be focusing on,” she said.

Ms Gallagher said although more auditing was required, at the moment “we believe the organisation is not as bad as people thought it was financially”.

Community member Denise McGrath said the meeting did not address concerns about the Mungabareena board.

“I think it was a complete whitewash,” she said.

“I think it’s essential that the board get changed.

“You step this board down and maybe you’ll get a fresh lot of community people put their hand up to come in and work with VACCHO and try and sort things out.”