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Indigenous people can manage their finances


4 July 2003
Indigenous people would be able to participate more in the financial activities of their organisations if Commonwealth and State Government bodies considered the diverse cultural issues in Indigenous corporate governance requirements, according to research completed at Southern Cross University.

In a thesis for his doctorate of business administration, Dr Kamlesh Sharma discovered that corporate governance concepts in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incorporated organisations have been mainly built around western theories, with no major research done in the area to ascertain suitability in a cultural context.

Dr Sharma is originally from Fiji and has been working for Aboriginal Hostels Limited in administrative and managerial roles since 1991. Prior to that he worked in financial and administrative roles with the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, Shell Fiji, ANZ Banking Group Limited and the Office of the Auditor General in Fiji.

‘My research shows there is a clear indication for the need of a corporate governance checklist for the urban and suburban indigenous organisations where the social structures and traditional beliefs are not very strong, and a separate checklist for rural and remote areas where the social structures and traditional beliefs are very strong,’ Dr Sharma said.

The thesis has been made available to many Australian universities, ATSIC’s Office of Evaluation and Audit, Indigenous Business Australia and the Hon. Philip Ruddock, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.

Further Information: Kath Duncan or Sara Crowe, 02 66203144 or Chris Stewart 0418431484