Major questions have been raised around the authenticity of the resume of Buurabalayji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation’s (BTAC) CEO Matthew Slack.
It has been alleged that Mr Slack, CEO of BTAC since 2016, falsified major parts of his resume including his education and previous work experience.
A copy of Mr Slack’s 2016 resume obtained by NIT outlines a number of tertiary qualifications that could be fraudulent, according to an investigation by The Australian.
Spokespeople for the University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University and the University of Southern Queensland, universities where Mr Slack claims to have completed study, all told The Australian they hold no record of Mr Slack having ever graduated any of their courses.
BTAC’s Chair Cyril Hayes has dismissed the severity of the allegations, telling The Australian errors in the CV are “forgiven completely” and praising Mr Slack’s work at the organisation to date.
Although the case of Mr Slack’s conduct was referred to WA Attorney General John Quigley, the Attorney General has limited powers under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006. The matter has been referred onwards to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
The complaints have also been brought to the attention of the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC). No action has been undertaken as yet.
Founding member of BTAC Trudy Hayes has labelled ORIC a “toothless tiger.”
Ms Hayes said she and other members from the organisation have tried multiple times to contact ORIC to raise their concerns about Mr Slack’s conduct and governance, but nothing has ever eventuated from it.
“Letters have been sent to them, emails have been sent to them [about Mr Slack’s conduct], they’ve never really helped us at all,” Ms Hayes said.
Ms Hayes also said Mr Slack has banned her from accessing the BTAC office and hasn’t been able to get into contact with the office for over two years.
“[Mr Slack] said staff had complained about my behaviour. He’s accused me of all sorts of things [but] there was no evidence given,” Ms Hayes said.
“For two years I’ve been struggling to try and get back control of our organisation.”
BTAC released a statement today saying the Thalanyji board has “thrown unanimous support behind their CEO.”
The release then listed Mr Slack’s achievements since being appointed BTAC CEO and labelled parts of The Australian’s article “offensive” and “completely false.”
“Matthew [Slack] has turned the Corporation around. We want our community to continue to benefit from his hard work,” said Chair Cyril Hayes.
Thalanyji has undertaken legal action against Ms Hayes on another matter. On January 22 the Supreme Court of Western Australia ordered that Ms Hayes must pay back monies owed to Thalanyji in excess of half a million dollars.
NIT has contacted Mr Slack for comment however no response was received before publication.
By Hannah Cross
Editor’s note: The information relating to the specifics of the legal action against Ms Hayes was updated at 3.14pm on day of publication.