Australian Indigenous Ministries Inc., charity review

The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has since been superseded.  Please start with the updated review published in October 2016, and come back to this one as needed.

This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity Australian Indigenous Ministries Inc. (AIM).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC[i]Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about AIM.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

  • Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 18 March 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)
  • Then there is a section Membership of accountability organisations claimed.

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • AIM website. AIM Alice Springs website.
  • Not on FaceBook or LinkedIn.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews on Glassdoor yet.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • A subtype consistent with sharing the Gospel.
  • The first object in the constitution is evangelism, pure and direct:
    • Facilitate the spreading of the Christian Gospel to Indigenous Australians through outreach, discipling and counselling.

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • AIM is a NSW incorporated association (No. INC9882776).

Other Name(s)

  • The trading name Australian Indigenous Ministries should be here; however, in the absence of a business name, AIM cannot trade under anything less than its full name.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Charity ABN

  • No tax deduction is claimable for a donation to AIM.

Charity Street Address

  • This differs from the one that comes up on the right hand side in a Google search: 366 Hawkesbury Rd, Winmalee NSW 2777
  • Postal address, from the website: PO Box 126 TAREE NSW 2430.

Email

Phone

  • From the Google search (and the website): 02 4754 3833

Website

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2014
    • This is AIM’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2014 (AIS 2014).
    • It was lodged five months after year end.
    • It gives basic financial information. And because the Financial Report file on the Register is corrupted and won’t open, that’s all you’ve got at the moment.
      • ‘Employee expenses’ zero?
      • The bulk of the $4.56 m assets are most likely still the properties discussed at the Royal Commission that the AIM boss said that he either couldn’t (held in trust) or wouldn’t (did want to go out of business) sell in order to compensate child abuse victims.
  • Financial Report 2014
    • Although it says ‘Not required’, this is no doubt due to AIM’s declaration of its size as Small (see Size of Charity, below).
    • Unfortunately the report does not open. I told AIM this and asked them for a copy. However, they did not reply. I was therefore unable to review their latest report.

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • On the website.
      • Not charismatic in theology.
    • The same as on page 3 of the constitution.

Date Established

  • Their write-up of the history is on the website.
  • The current ‘General Director’ appeared before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Darwin in 2014.
    • Here’s the background to that, including where to go to find more detail on the early years.
      • Somebody did that for 1905 to 1938, and here’s their thesis.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision and Mission
    • None found.
    • But the Objects are here.
  • Activities (What did AIM do?)
    • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2014:
      • Ministering the Christian Gospel to Indigenous people in a number of centres across Australia. Developing and training Indigenous leadership for their churches.
        • Not particular to 2014.
    • See the two to three-monthly The AIM newsletter instead (under News).
  • Outcomes (What did AIM deliver?)
    • AIM did not respond to the request in the AIS 2015 for a description of its outcomes.
    • Nothing systematic found on the website.
    • See The AIM newsletter.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing systematic.
    • See The AIM newsletter.

Size of Charity

  • This is a mistake. Even last year AIM was over the $250K threshold for Medium.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 30 June 2016. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[ii]

  • Given that it operates interstate, ECM, as a registrable Australian body, needs an ARBN. It doesn’t have one.
  • AIM does not have a fundraising licence in these three states.
  • AIM calls for donations on its website.
    • It doesn’t have a fundraising licence in any of the other four states that have a licensing regime.
      • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs such a licence in these states depends on whether those states think that AIM, by calling for donations publicly, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • Don’t be misled by the name; if it were all about AIM’s ‘field practice and procedure’ as it says on the cover, then it wouldn’t need to be lodged. However, the fourth document is AIM’s constitution.
  • There is no Annual Report/Review available on the ACNC Register.
  • Nor on the website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[iii]

Trevor Leggott                This function was not working at the time of publication

Stephen Bignall

  • This list is missing at least seven, up to 13, ‘councilors’ [constitution, clause 10.4].
  • Under ‘Position’, to comply with the constitution, there should be a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Treasurer.

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

(End of review)

 

 

[i] Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Australia’s national regulator of charities.

[ii] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[iii] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.