The Thalanyji Board has thrown its unanimous support behind their CEO, Matthew Slack, in the light of an article written by Andrew Burrell published in The Australian on Tuesday 9 April 2019.
Mr Slack’s qualifications, work history and heritage were questioned by Mr Burrell’s article. The Thalanyji Board would like to clarify that Mr Slack was not employed on the basis of his heritage and they believe the resume Chairman Cyril Hayes received during the recruitment process to be accurate.
Mr Slack has turned around the Corporation during his first three years as Thalanyji CEO. He has introduced numerous programs and projects that benefit Members as well as increasing revenue through Thalanyji’s commercial interests for the benefit of not only Thalanyji Members but also the general community.
Mr Slack has overseen the delivery of aged care units and medical centre to the Onslow community which specialises in Indigenous health. These are due to open in the coming months. Mr Slack also initiated the acquisition by the Corporation of a pastoral lease to provide employment and training opportunities to Indigenous people as well as to generate income for the Corporation.
The Thalanyji Board finds it offensive that Mr Burrell refers to the Thalanyji people as ‘impoverished’. There are several options widely available to Members to access funds in times of emergency and they also have access to Trusts to which they can apply for grants towards education, living and other expenses as required. The organisation also provides full health care cover for all Members which was an initiative introduced by Mr Slack.
Since the appointment of Mr Slack, the corporation has recorded the following audited Comprehensive Income:
- FY 2016 $2,852,347;
- FY 2017 $5,332,925.
The Corporation under previous CEO’s for the period FY 2012 – FY 2015 recorded a combined loss of $1,376,397.
The article suggests Thalanyji receives millions of dollars in payments from Land users. This is completely false. A separate set of Trusts (known as Thalanyji Charitable Trust, and Thalanyji Direct Benefits Trust) receives money from a Land User exclusively for use of Members, and Members programs.
Quotes attributed to Cyril Hayes, Thalanyji Chair
"It is disappointing that Matthew’s heritage has been questioned. His appointment was not made based on whether or not he was Aboriginal but on whether or not he could do the right thing by the Thalanyji People.”
“Matthew has turned the Corporation around. We want our community to continue to benefit from his hard work.”
Background on Buurabalayji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation
Thalanyji is the Prescribed Body Corporate for the Thalanyji People and was established to protect and manage the native title rights of the Thalanyji People in accordance with their wishes.