We have developed, and have experience with, a range of approaches to trusts and benefit management structures (BMS) which vary depending on the requirements of the PBC, native title group and or outcomes of mining agreements.
We specialise in ensuring we establish trusts to suit the requirements of our clients, either as trustees ourselves or by providing support to an aboriginal corporation in its role as trustee. We take the time to travel to country and meet regularly with our clients to ensure that they are the ones who make the decisions about how their trusts operate.
Fundamental to us is the recognition that Aboriginal People have the absolute right to Self Determination including the right to make decisions about their future.
The following principles underpin Abbotts’ approach to its role as trustee.
Culturally appropriate; ensuring that any structure and process established and implemented is focused on each group and its member’s needs and way of working. Providing the flexibility and opportunity for the distribution of funds to be tailored to the community’s needs, this can include as cash (dependent on the type of trust). To be made in accordance with a well-documented Distribution Policy.
Transparent and structures; distribution of funds received from mining agreements, ILUA’s or other agreements always requires a transparent and well-documented procedure from both a community and contributor perspective.
Abbotts works with independent financial advisors, Abbotts does not derive any income from the operations of a share portfolio or investments. Once invested, the trust then holds those investments on behalf of each client and monitors and reports back on the progress of each investment.
Compliance; It is important that those who make decisions about payments to beneficiaries have legitimate authority to do so. We provide a clear operating framework and set of governing responsibilities and principles. This enables those involved in trust governance to understand and be involved in the decision-making process, and also helps meet and manage both community and contributor expectations.