Bad news for native title group reformers


The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) says only the directors of Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation (LAAC) can call meetings of the estate groups for the purposes of nominating LAAC directors and members.
This means the 10 people selected last week by the group seeking to reform the organization cannot be considered as having been nominated.
ORIC head Anthony Beven says: “The Mparntwe estate group held its nomination meeting on 25 October in Alice Springs.  ORIC officers attended the meeting.”
The Alice Springs News Online has learned that the officers were asked to leave the meeting and did.
Says Mr Beven: “The meeting was adjourned by the members to 3 November 2011 [yesterday] as not all the apmereke-artweye and kwertengerle were in attendance at the meeting on 25 October.
“I have no knowledge of a Mparntwe estate group meeting being called for Monday, 31 October by the directors of Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation under rule 15 of the rule book [governing the nominating].
“The meeting on 3 November was the properly constituted meeting of the Mparntwe estate group for the purposes of rule 15 of the Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation rule book.
“I am aware that the Mparntwe Aboriginal Corporation held its annual general meeting on Monday (31 October 2011).
“The Mparntwe Aboriginal Corporation and the Mparntwe estate group are two different groups but have similar membership.”
The Alice Springs News Online understands ORIC officers did not attend yesterday’s Mparntwe meeting.


The group seeking to reform Alice Springs’ native title organisation, Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation (LAAC), is confident that it is getting the upper hand.
“It’s about returning the traditional structure back to the control of the native title holders rather than an alleged select few,” says Ron Morony (at left), a special director of the Antulye estate group.
The organisation has been in turmoil over allegations that a small clique has assumed control amidst suspicions of unauthorized spending of funds, bullying, stacking of meetings and ignoring the traditional power brokers known as the Apmereke-artweye and Kwertengerle.
The Alice News has been informed the estates groups of Irlpme and Antulye have now each selected 10 people from their respected estate groups of directors in readiness for its AGM on November 16.
The third estate group, Mparntwe has not been able to agree on selecting their 10 because of ongoing internal difference, according to  Mr
Mr Morony, who is a financial consultant based in Canberra, says a Mparntwe meeting last week “exploded” after just 30 minutes.
A number of senior Arrernte people had attempted to bring about some balance in the Mparntwe group but that failed, but this week they met and were able to make a number of important decisions.”
Michael Liddle (above, right) says that members of one family have been too dominant in that group, to the disadvantage of five
or six other families in the moiety.
Says Mr Liddle: “One family group assumes that they are the rightful people to speak on behalf of the Mparntwe Group.
No-one has given that family group permission to conduct itself in that manner, or to speak in that manner with such authority.”
Mr Liddle says the reform group have selected 10 members that were evenly representing the Mparntwe Group.
Mr Morony says it appears former LAAC CEO Darryl Pearce is organising an alternative meeting to overturn these elected nominations.
However, Irlpme and Antulye are of the same mind about reform being necessary, and will have the majority vote in Lhere Artepe.
Mr Liddle says because of the dominating family groups lack of knowledge and protocol of Aborignal structure it is preventing the progress and development of Lhere Artepe Corporation from being a benefit to the Central Arrente people.
Mr Morony says it is likely that LAAC and the three estate groups will commission a review of the business dealings and companies set up in the last few years, involving the purchase – with a massive Aboriginal Benefits Account grant – of three suburban supermarkets, the holding of 40% equity in the Yeperenye Shopping complex, and the construction of the Stephens Road residential subdivision.
A civil engineering company owned by an entity linked to Lhere Artepe is in liquidation.
“I receive regular requests for information about what is happening in these companies and as a representative of the shareholders I  have great difficulty in responding as the information simply isn’t made available, or if it is, it is so vague that you can’t make sense of it,” says Mr Morony.


  1. Many question Morony’s right to even comment. Setting up a renegade group without airing differences that has split members is not the correct protocol, especially from someone who has been on the scene for a very short time.

  2. Who are you Micky Liddle were do you come from? Smith family name has been in Alice Springs long before the name Liddle came to this place.

  3. Wow! I’ve finally made it to the renegade status and you can’t imagine how delighted I was to be branded in this way.
    For most of my career I have been branded as a very conservative person.
    It is really a sad state of affairs when a son of the traditional owners of this country can’t ask questions on behalf of those who have been disempowered by people who should know better.
    I won’t go into a defense as I know that the people who matter are seeking my assistance and advice. As a registered director of one of the thee native title estate groups it is my responsibility to ask questions.
    What is it that is so difficult about calling the “Old Guard” to account? Aren’t we entitled to know what is happening to the companies set up to represent the interests of the native title holders especially when one has failed recently with serious debts of some $2.5 million?
    I have sat on boards of major corporations and built a statutory authority to a $billlion corporation.
    Had I lost money like that which has occurred at CDE Civil, I would have been called to account. But here people don’t seem to want to explain themselves and just brand those who dare question as renegades or troublemakers.
    When it comes to protocols, I had always believed that working with the the kwertengerle and the Ampereke-artweye was fundamental.
    Perhaps I have missed something about addressing land and native title issues. Other formal approaches for information get ignored so what is the correct protocol?
    If asking questions for my elders is being a renegade then I wear the badge with honour.
    Ron Morony
    Ph 0261563644
    M 0427010771

  4. All of this will no doubt continue until the questions being asked are answered … and honesty and transparency come to the fore.

  5. Let’s talk about protocol: The correct protocol would be [to ask] the traditional elders who own this land and suffered for our land to be the decision makers of this land. With our knowledge [we could] help guide them through the white man’s laws to succeed. My mother is one of these elders. My grandmother is Essie Stuart.[She] is one the native title holders who has missed out on her rights, although she is listed a traditional owner.
    I intend to ensure that this does not continue to happen.
    My phone number is 0466 910122, email, if any of you would like to discuss this further, call me.


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