Grant Thornton Australia appointed Anthony Beven to partner in its Cairns office, effective yesterday. Mr Beven was the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations for the past 10 years. His portfolio included about 2,900 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.
Mr Beven was also the Regional Commissioner and National Adviser (Indigenous) in the Northern Territory and South Australia between 1999 and 2007, and served as the Registrar of Companies in Papua New Guinea from 1995 to 1999.
Specifically, Mr Beven will be focused on developing closer links with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business sector, expanding existing relationships and services and developing new service lines. New services may include governance and board support, meeting compliance obligations, and mediation and dispute resolution.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporate sector is largely comprised of mid-sized organisations, and about 60 per cent are located in remote regions of Australia, which poses a challenge for the provision of and access to professional advice.
“An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander business faces the same challenges as any other small or mid-size business. However, the business is more likely to be located in a remote location, be community-owned and operating as a not-for profit, and incorporate cultural or family obligations into its operations or governance model,” Les Corder, Grant Thornton managing partner for northern Australia, told Accountants Daily.
“Also, more and more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are regaining control of traditional lands and examining how to use that land for economic development, whilst retaining traditional ownership.”