72. Starting a new Yolngu business - start small

Djiniyini asks how ASIC can send in an Administrator to take over a company (small or large) when it’s bankrupt. Richard discusses the role of ASIC in ensuring companies don’t trade into debt, which is the same as traditional Yolngu trading law.  The government creates laws so business people do not cause trouble to the dhumbalbal trading tracks and relationships between gumurr’manydji traders.  Richard and Djiniyini discuss how the Administrator may sell all the assets of the company to pay back the debt. They explain how the company has acted lawlessly, which is why the government steps in and takes over the company through a process of law.

Djiniyini and Richard discuss how companies and organisations are required to be incorporated into the Australian system of law just like in the past Yolngu had to trade within a traditional system of law. Every trader had to be part of the corporate Bäpurru body before they could trade traditionally, they couldn’t trade as sole traders under that system. Djiniyini  points out that every company now gets an ABN which allows the government to monitor businesses and to make sure tax is properly and fairly paid so the money can be used for hospitals, education etc.

Djiniyini asks what happens to the registered name of the company if an Administrator steps. Richard explains there are 6 steps an Administrator can take, including selling the company name to raise funds. They discuss how the CEO of the company loses everything if they go bankrupt.

Richard and Djiniyini explore the idea of starting business as a sole trader or small business with an ABN, so an accountant or similar can assist with taxation issues. They discuss how Yolngu can concentrate on trading the assets they already have on their Estates. Ideas put forward include natural pearls, trepang, shellfish, timber, crocodile skins, and native honey.


There are 4 Stories in this podcast. Please see time stamps below –

  • Story No. 1 What happens if ASIC send in an Administrator                 00:00
  • Story No. 2  Board of Directors and their responsibilities                      09:34
  • Story No. 3  What happens to a company name after bankruptcy      20:05
  • Story No. 4  Beginning as a small business                                                  28:56