Trust and Fund Governance
There are some quite strict rules and guides for how funds from Banjima trusts can be used and how the decisions are made. This is to make sure the funds are used to benefit and support Banjima people.
The money for these trusts have come from mining agreements and are compensation for miners actions on Banjima Country.
The Charitable and Direct Benefits Trusts each have:
• a Decision Making Committee (DMC)
• a Banjima Council
Both are made up of Banjima representatives and are responsible for the development of distribution policies.
The composition of the Banjima Council is required to be (in the opinion of the Trustee) representative of the Banjima People on a fair and just basis.
How are decisions made for funds to be used?
We can think of the Decision Making Committee (DMC) and Council as the House of representatives and the Senate.
The DMC create policies with the Trustee and funding projects, but the Council are the final decision makers and they must endorse the DMC decision on a policy before it goes to the mining companies for approval.
If a policy was to be approved this is the process (see flow chart picture above or here):
- Policy created by DMC and Trustee
- Policy endorsed by the DMC
- Council review the policy – any changes it goes back to DMC to fix
- Council approve the policy
- Trustee approves the policy
- Policy is sent to the mining company
How are ‘Sub fund’ decisions made?
Each sub fund has its own Council and own DMC.
The members who sit on these must be beneficiaries of that particular fund. They are responsible for creating, reviewing and approving benefits for their fellow beneficiaries.
How are DMC members appointed?
Banjima people who are beneficiaries of the various trusts nominate their representatives to be part of a Committee or Council. Nominees are appointed by the Trustee (AET) according to a selection criteria, usually for a term of around 3 years.
Members vote at a Community Meeting to select their preferred nominees. Nominees must be a registered beneficiary of the particular trust fund and be 18 years or over.
What is the selection criteria?
- Financial literacy
- Must complete or undertake within the first year of appointment a Directors course.