KATUNGUL Aboriginal Corporation Community & Medical Services boss Jon Rogers welcomed Wednesday’s Federal Court decision to penalise his predecessor to the tune of $1.2million.
“The registrar [Anthony Beven] described it as a landmark decision,” Mr Rogers said.
“It shows the regulator has teeth and is prepared to use them.
“The fraud and misuse of funds got national coverage – it was significant fraud with a significant penalty.”
Mr Rogers was appointed CEO of the Narooma-based Katungul corporation in September 2012 after a period of administration.
Since then he said the organisation is going from strength to strength.
“The real judge of how Katungul is back in business is how well the community has re-engaged with us,” he said.
“There has been a 68 per cent increase in clientele in the last 12 months.
“We were $350,000 in the red when the administrators were in charge – this year we made a profit of around half a million dollars.”
Mr Rogers said profits will be fed back into community services.
“They will be reinvested into community needs that have been neglected as a result of past mismanagement.”
Mr Rogers said there has also been a restructure under the new board, with new clinics opening and a wider range of services provided, including social services alongside its primary health care provision.
“The Indigenous model of health is holistic and we are now providing holistic services based on the needs of the community,” he said.
Along with the two main health care facilities in Bega and Narooma, Mr Rogers said Katungul recently opened a practice in Batemans Bay “with the help of Medicare Local”, which operates two days a week.
There is also a regular clinic at Wallaga Lake – soon to become a weekly visit – and negotiations are well advanced for a day clinic in Eden.
Katungul’s medical services have also been given a boost with local GPs providing registrar services – through Duncan McKinnon’s practice in Bega and Jenny Wray’s Lighthouse Surgery in Narooma.
“The staff here are key to making Katungul successful,” Mr Rogers said.
“The overhang of Damien Matcham’s time here is slowly fading.
“But we shouldn’t forget the lessons that good governance is essential for a successful organisation.”