ALSO Foundation CEO Crusader Hillis has resigned.
In a statement release last night, the organisation’s board said Hillis would continue after his role finishes to help steer the organisation through the annual financial audit process, and ensure the continued delivery of it’s two government-funded projects: the Take Care Out There sexual health project, and the With Respect Awareness Project.
“Hillis, who had recently shifted into a part-time capacity, has advised that his decision is based on personal and pragmatic reasons, stating that he felt that it was in the long-term interest of the organisation to cut back on their ongoing expenses,” the statement read.
No decision has been taken by the ALSO Care Committee or Foundation Board as to replacing staff.
ALSO has been under significant financial pressure in the last 12 months after coming to the brink of insolvency.
Earlier this year there was talk the organisation would be place in voluntary administration and it was understood it was under the scrutiny of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
It temporarily avoided insolvency in early June this year when a resolution put forward by the ALSO Committee of Management, to access money from the Members Resolution Fund (MRF) to pay the ALSO Foundation and ALSO Care’s immediate debts, was passed by members.
The Committee Resolution was passed after a postal vote process and allowed $209,177 to come from the MRF to pay Care and Foundation’s; immediate debts, write off a $79,397 loan from Care to Foundation to be reclassified as expenditure; and $87,000 to be released to Care to keep it trading for the next nine months.
In the same overnight statement Hillis said funds from the Members’ Resolution Fund, currently invested in OwenLaw Mortgage Trust, had been expected to be released in August to the ALSO Care & Benevolent Society, in order to meet outstanding liabilities of both the Foundation and ALSO Care.
“This was consistent with the Business Plans approved by a majority of the ALSO Care membership at a recent postal ballot, based upon advice from the mortgage funds management,” it read.
“However, due to unforeseen circumstances, those funds remain tied up in investments, and are now not expected to be available until November.
“Until those funds become available, the Foundation Board, Care Committee and management believe the organisations are not adequately resourced to fully deliver upon their business plans. This will require a contraction of activity and curtailing of expenses in the short-term.”
ALSO Foundation Board spokesman Daniel Perkins said the board was appreciative of Hillis’ efforts.
“He has been integral to improving the professionalism of the ALSO organisations, and has helped them to deliver on their mission of developing the capacity of the GLBTIQ community,” he said in a statement.
“He has also provided invaluable advice to the board and committee, particularly about longer term strategies for survival and business planning. He has helped us to gain a much clearer sense of the financial position of the organisations, and has brought a professionalism to the delivery of our projects of which we are rightly proud.
“He brought with him a wealth of previous managerial experience, and has helped us reshape the organisations so that we can plan for the future. His decision to stand down at this stage is reflective of his desire for the organisations to continue and to thrive.
“We feel particularly fortunate that he will continue to work with us in the immediate future, and wish him well for any other future endeavours. Crusader, as we all know, will continue to be a major contributor to the GLBTIQ community.
“Right now, more than at any time in its past,ALSO requires community and individual support. This could take the form of much-needed donations, joining the Care Committee or Foundation Board, joining one of ALSO’s sub-committees or working groups, or to volunteer to work with the organisations to ensure their future. The organisations remain much-needed resources in the GLBTIQ community, with important work still to be achieved.”
INFO: The board of the ALSO Foundation and Committee of the ALSO Care are currently seeking new members. Visit www.also.org.au for details.