The CEO of a charity that made a $5.2million loss has been slammed for taking three staff on a 12,000km trip to Africa to lecture women on business.
Gold Coast-based charity FSG Australia, a freedom and social justice group, travelled to Zambia, Africa, in September after recording the multi-million dollar deficit.
The charity entered voluntary administration on June 30, despite receiving $60 million annually from the state and federal governments, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.
FSG Australia, run by CEO Vicki Batten (pictured) took three staff on a 12,000km trip to Africa, despite making a $5.2 million loss
The charity’s Facebook page shows the group enjoying a glass of champagne as they celebrate the beginning of the trip (pictured)
FSG Australia, run by CEO Vicki Batten, travelled to Zambia as the charity’s fate hung in the air.
Administrators will decide whether or not the charity will fold and enter liquidation on August 3 this year.
The trip to Zambia, entitled ‘Justice Journeys’, included a business workshop, guest speakers and lavish lunch and drink packages.
The charity’s Facebook page shows the group enjoying a glass of champagne as they celebrate a week before departing on the Zambia trip.
‘Justice Journey Crew have safely arrived in Africa. Just waiting for our final flight from Johannesburg to Lusaka and getting a much needed coffee,’ the group said alongside this photo on September 19 last year
‘Ladies get ready… we will be in Zambia in less than a week. Team Aussie is very excited and looking forward to meeting you all. Yesterday we had a great meeting over a nice Zambia meal,’ the group said.
FSG’s trip to Africa was an ‘unfunded community project’, meaning it was funded by donations rather than government money.
However, an independent auditor found ‘unfunded community projects’ contributed to the charity going broke.
The Department of Communities Disability Services and Seniors, a major contributor to the charity, hired the independent auditor when the group went bust.
‘This investigation found FSG’s losses are due to over-delivery of services and providing many non-funded community projects,’ a department spokesman said.
FSG Australia CEO Vicki Batten is pictured (left) while in Zambia in September last year
This was disputed by a source close to the group, who told the Gold Coast Bulletin ‘unfunded programs mean that they are not funded by the government’.
LNP shadow minister Dr Christian Rowan slammed the overseas expedition as ‘troubling’.
‘It’s troubling to hear that time and effort was being spent on overseas projects when FSG’s core business of providing disability support to Queenslanders was clearly suffering from years of multimillion-dollar deficits,’ Dr Rowan said.
‘The Labor government have failed in their due diligence, accountability and oversight when allocating taxpayer dollars over a number of years given the range of issues now emerging in relation to FSG.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted FSG Australia for comment.