Registered charity Aussie Helpers confirmed it has entered into a compliance agreement with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) to address concerns raised about the charity’s governance.
Natasha Kocks, CEO of Aussie Helpers, said the charity has fully cooperated with the ACNC’s investigation.
“It is important to us that Aussie Helpers delivers support to those who need it, while also being well managed with all the appropriate procedures and controls in place.
“We will continue to work with the ACNC to ensure the best outcomes for the charity and the rural families we support,” Ms Kocks said.
The ACNC investigation found that Aussie Helpers did not have adequate policies and procedures for managing financial controls and conflicts of interest. It also identified a need for greater awareness by the charity’s Responsible Persons of their duties under the ACNC Governance Standards.
Ms Kocks said Aussie Helpers has made significant steps towards addressing these issues and continues to work with the ACNC to improve its governance.
“Aussie Helpers was established in 2007 to help Australian farmers and it has been responding to increasing demand for its services across the country.
“With support from the public and corporate sector, Aussie Helpers quickly grew into a major rural charity. The charity’s governance practices and policies did not keep up with the growth in the charity’s size and complexity.
“We have been working with the ACNC to address the issues identified. All board members have now had governance training, the Aussie Helpers’ constitution has been updated, and we are implementing financial controls and updating our policies and procedures,” Ms Kocks said.
ACNC Commissioner, the Hon Dr Gary Johns, said a compliance agreement is appropriate if a charity has cooperated with an investigation and made obvious attempts to comply with its obligations.
“Aussie Helpers has fully cooperated with our investigation. The compliance agreement is evidence of the charity’s commitment to increased accountability and transparency to donors and the public,” Dr Johns said.
ACNC media contact
Email email@example.com or phone 0466 089 108
Aussie Helpers media contact
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (07) 3221 2220, 0411 424 900