As you may be aware, late last year GAC convened what is called the ‘Appointing Committee’ to consider expressions of interest from professional trustee companies, and from GIPL, to assess the best approach for the Foundation for the future.
This committee recommended the appointment of a professional trustee, however, for such a change to be made the vote must achieve a 75% approval. At an extraordinary meeting of Beneficiaries on 29 April 2017, the vote determined that GIPL would remain as the Trustee of the Foundation.
Perhaps what Beneficiaries were not aware of at that time was of GAC’s intention to remove the 3 Independent Directors on the GIPL Board if GIPL were to remain as Trustee. This notice of intention was sent to GIPL on the 30th of March 2017.
The GAC Board have followed through with this action and, as a result, Independent Directors Colleen Hayward, Rachelle Towart and Chris Pye have been directed to leave the organisation on the 26th of May.
During our time with the Foundation, we, along with the Traditional Owner Directors on the GIPL Board, have saved $20M from being lost from the future fund.
A significant change that this Board in its current form has implemented is the funding-in-arrears model. This means that the Foundation will always know how much it actually has in the bank to fund member programs for the year ahead. Previous models were based on forecasting and in 2014, led to sudden and substantial mid-year program cuts as the money that was ‘forecasted’ never materialised.
One of our great accomplishments to date is the protection of the future fund for the young and the unborn children of the General Gumala Foundation. In spite of what people might believe, the trust fund is for the benefit of the existing and future generations of Traditional Owners. It is these children that will be living their lives in 2077 when we are no longer be around, and who will benefit from Gumala Foundation when vesting day arrives, 80 years after it was established.
As we depart the organisation, we would like Beneficiaries to know that, as at 30 April 2017, there is $9.4M in unallocated funding for community projects and programs. This funding carries forward to future periods until used. We hope the Manager will make good use of this funding for Beneficiaries.
It has been an honour to serve the Gumala Traditional Owners in our capacities as Directors. We have done our best to apply our legal responsibilities as a Trustee Board by ensuring the best and most prudent use of GGF monies