Thursday, June 20, 2024

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

HomeIssue 14IAD under external administration

IAD under external administration

As the world is celebrating the International Year of Indigenous Languages the standard bearer of traditional tongues in The Centre has been placed under external administration.
The Institute for Aboriginal Development (IAD), nearly half a century old, is insolvent with liabilities of more than half a million dollars and has been ordered by the Federal Court to have its second creditors’ meeting before the end of this month.
PHOTO from the IAD website: IAD Press is a noted publishing house. The News is seeking information about how it may be impacted by the current developments.
Of that amount $200,000 is in unexpended grants and $230,000 is owed to the Taxation Office.
Since May the organisation has been under the administration of Brisbane firm Grant Thornton Australia Ltd.
The signatures on the court documents read like a Who Is Who of prominent local Aboriginal people: Brenda Shields, Deborah Booker, Pat Ansell-Dodds, Steven Satour, Benedict Stevens, and Braydon Kanjira.
The minutes of an IAD meeting on May 17 sketch the decline of the organisation founded by the Uniting Church in 1969 “to assist in community development for Aboriginal people in Central Australia and to provide cross cultural education”.

It was “developed as an education provider, training organisation, language and resource centre … producing culture, language and other related materials.


“In the early 2000s IAD had over 100 staff.


“Around 2010 government programme funding began to cease, with the emphasis being on self-sufficiency.”


There were “trading losses in recent years, as operations and staff number have declined and there has been high management turnover.


“With insufficient cash flow, IAD has ended up with unpaid debts, limited cash but still has substantial property assets.”

It is noted that there were “many attempts to implement change, but there had been no follow through or implementation by senior management or directors in some instances”.
Sale of portions of the land in South Terrace have been mooted.


  1. As per usual, when the government funds run out it all comes to a slow grinding halt. IAD is an institution, one of the only sources of great printed material on indigenous information which should continue for the next 50 years.
    Current management need to step up, take responsibility and initiative to get back on track again.
    It’s an established organisation, if the people there now can’t run it, sack them and find someone willing to work and not milk a salary for just turning up.

  2. IAD Press is nothing short of a national treasure.
    It has published many uncommercial but highly valuable language resources over the decades.
    Meanwhile, the teaching arm of IAD is probably defunct and cannot be resurrected.
    It has lost its key trainers, its reputation and is besieged by competition.
    A wild idea 1:
    IAD Press be privatised by Aboriginal organisations and largely funded by Centrecorp.
    Wonderful kudos for them nationally for doing this.
    All local organisations use it to print their reports and many other publications.
    Wild idea 2:
    The IAD property be sold and the funds used to maintain the press.

  3. Taxpayers are sick of losers. Reduced taxpayer funds means failure for most Indigenous entities.

  4. How frustrating. So much was put into Press by so many people over the years. It’s a national treasure.
    With all the excitement over museums, archives, living cultural centres, art gallery, language maintenance etc, why on earth was a repository like IAD’s language resources and publishing house treated with such disregard?
    Act responsibly. Save IAD Press. Rekindle the vision. Show some respect for knowledge.


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