Role Models and Leaders Australia’s response to a published Direction by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
Role Models and Leaders Australia Ltd (RMLA) comments below in relation to the Direction Summary published by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) on 5 July 2019.
As set out in the Direction Summary of 5 July 2019:
- RMLA denies that it failed to comply with the governance standards of the ACNC regulations and particularly denies that it breached the record-keeping obligations in s 55-5 of the ACNC Act;
- RMLA denies that it expended charity funds for private purposes by way of use of charity credit and debit cards or at all; and
- RMLA denies that it made loans to related parties;
- The Board of RMLA has been cooperating fully with the ACNC’s investigation;
- RMLA is currently undergoing a forensic audit in accordance with the ACNC’s direction. RMLA has at all material times complied with, and continues to comply with, ACNC governance standards and record-keeping obligations. Furthermore, RMLA is required to and lodges audited financial statements in accordance with relevant regulations for Large Charities, which is required annually. The Board of RMLA further advises that at all material times:
- Funds have been expended to the benefit of the Charity and in accordance with various obligations as set down by various funding bodies and partners of the Charity;
- The charity has not suffered any financial loss as a result of the conduct of the charity or any Officer of the charity;
- The programs continue to be delivered to the benefit of the more than 2,700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls enrolled in the program full time. Matters have been reported by Channel 7 were not in full context. We advise as follows (as set out in the 2018 Annual Report of RMLA, which has been lodged with ACNC and is available for download from our website and the ACNC website):
- The total expenditure for the year was $13,148,027 for the entire organisation;
- RMLA’s spending on the delivery of the program, is made up of a number of expenses, which are summarised as follows:
Employee and personnel expenses – $9,714,274
Depreciation, Finance Costs & Vehicle Running Costs Other Program – $905,301
Other Operational Expenses – $1,612,811
Total Expenditure: $12,232,386
- We advise further:
- Over 70% of the expenses of RMLA for the year ended 31 December 2018 were spent on employee and personnel expenses;
- More than 19% of the other expenses were spent on program operational expenses, as set out above;
- Less than 10% of the expenses of the organisation were spent on overheads and administration;
- RMLA employs more than 140 people across Australia with the majority of those staff members based on site at the 43 schools.
- To deliver the program, full time staff are employed at each site, with various additional specialist and support staff. The focus of the delivery of the program is to increase school attendance, advancing academic and personal achievement, increasing Year 12 graduation rates and supporting the girls in their transition to the workforce or further study.
- Each site has:
- a minimum of two full time staff, and up to five staff, depending on student numbers, and the program delivery requirements;
- a vehicle which is used to assist each Academy site to assist them in delivering the program;
- an expenditure allowance which is spent on various activities which assist our staff to deliver the program.
- More than 70% of our staff delivering the program are local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
RMLA will make direct comment on news stories that may appear from time to time, and will be available for specific comment where appropriate.
RMLA continues to successfully operate its Girls Academy program and remains recognised as the leading provider in Australia of school-based engagement programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls. This year the program is providing support to more that 2,700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls in 43 schools across Australia.