Rebuilding the reputation and services of Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation will be the focus of its new chief executive.
Glenn Bourke said recent concerns that led to the Wodonga group being put under administration did not deter him from taking on this role.
“Saw it as a challenge, and that’s what it comes down to, a challenge to get it back to where it needs to be,” he said.
Mungabareena will hold its annual general meeting on November 14, with new board members to be announced soon.
The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations appointed Alan Eldridge special administrator of the corporation last December and then extended his initial three-month term three times.
ORIC had monitored Mungabareena since 2015 following questions about its financial and administrative management.
Mr Eldridge said the latest extension would be the last.
“November 30 will be the finalisation and I think it’ll be in good shape to hand it over,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to letting the community take control of it again.”
Mr Bourke, who became chief executive in late September, had no previous dealings with the corporation before his appointment.
Originally from Queensland, he spent 23 years in the army in administration and logistics, serving in Darwin, Townsville, Sydney, Melbourne and Bandiana twice, the second stint from 2014.
The chief executive position advertised online caught his attention, although he was unfamiliar with Mungabareena at that time.
“The vast majority of my adult life I’ve served something,” he said.
“Serving in the military, I really enjoyed that, so this is just another way to serve.
“There’s a lot of need out there and there’s a lot of opportunities for Mungab to be able to provide amazing support to the community.”
His participation in three army Aboriginal community assistance projects introduced him to working with Indigenous communities.
Mr Bourke said increasing staff and funding would help Mungabareena develop programs in youth justice, diversion and prevention.
“Because of past history, and I really don’t want to dwell on past history, but because of it the capacity of Mungabareena reduced,” he said.
“It’s not one single service that’s most important, it’s the aim to build a resilient, self-sustaining community that in time has a lesser reliance on places like Mungab.
“There is a bit of a rebranding effort that we’re undergoing at the moment to just get the good name of Mungab back so that the community sees it as a positive aspect and not something that’s going to be negative.”
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