Hillsong accused of misleading Indigneous community

Australian Broad Corp./February 15, 2006

An Aboriginal community association in Sydney's west says it has been misled by the charitable arm of a prominent Pentecostal church over grant funding from the Federal Government.

The Riverstone Aboriginal Community Association (RACA) says it co-wrote an application with the Hillsong Emerge charity to receive a financial grant worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But the RACA says the Hillsong Emerge group then withdrew the joint application before resubmitting another application without the RACA's permission.

Hillsong Emerge was successful in winning the grant but the money has since been withdrawn by the Federal Government.

RACA spokeswoman Vilma Ryan says Hillsong Emerge owes her organisation a public apology.

"They didn't think we had a brain in our head," she said.

"But we've been in the game a long time now and we've been fighting all this kind of crap for years - you know being used and abused and researched."

She says her organisation was misled.

"They've treated us unjustly, they've used us and used all of our ideas and we don't take kindly to that," she said.

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