By ERWIN CHLANDA
As former Labor politician Karl Hampton (right) is settling into his $140,000 job as the CEO of Aboriginal radio station CAAMA, doubts are being raised about the way he was selected.
CAAMA spokeswoman Tracey Brand has claimed that Mr Hampton’s appointment was made “after an open national recruitment process conducted by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC)”.
However, when asked for information ORIC communications manager Lisa Hugg told the Alice Springs News Online that its role in the recruitment included placing “an advertisement on our website advertising their chief executive officer position.
“But this information is supplied to the Registrar by others, therefore the Registrar cannot guarantee that the information is accurate or up to date.”
Ms Hugg says it is likely that ORIC assisted CAAMA with procedural issues under ORIC’s recruitment assistance program such as a note taking service.
“But all decisions are the responsibility of the corporation,” says Ms Hugg. “We never interview on behalf of the corporation and ORIC does not make the decision on the selection of an applicant.”
Meanwhile Gman, whose controversial resignation as station manager has drawn public attention to the crisis in CAAMA, has scored a job with Melbourne Aboriginal radio station 3KND.
He is taking over from Jim Remedio (at left), a former CAAMA employee, with 30 years experience in community and national radio networks, and well-known in Alice Springs.
Gman confirmed his departure from Alice Springs to his Facebook friends: “Thank you all those who have journeyed with me and helped me when I needed it. To those who are new to Alice … enjoy this town because its pretty awesome.”
CAAMA receives $3.3m a year in government grants, mostly from Canberra, twice as much as it raises from other sources.
Gman has not responded to recent requests for comment but a source close to him, speaking on the condition of not being named, says he had not been told that his contract with CAAMA would not be renewed after May.
Ms Brand also indicated that to the News on Monday this week, that his resignation was voluntary and selfless, not prompted by the non-renewal of his contract. She said: “When Mr Hampton decided to apply for the CEO position late last year, he resigned as the chairman of the CAAMA board.”
On September 27 last year Mr Hampton, still the chairman, personally handed a letter to Michael Robertson, then CEO of CAAMA, the job Mr Hampton would later apply for.
The letter told Mr Robertson his contract would not be renewed when it ended on December 31.
Mr Hampton resigned from the board on December 20, according to documentation given to ORIC.
The closing date for the job application was January 22 this year.
The News has asked for comment on all this from Tracey Brand, on behalf of the board. We will post it when it comes to hand.