21 Oct 2014

Australian Whistleblower who leaked a secret scholarship for Tony Abbott's daughter to be sentenced this week

A young university student at the centre of the Whitehouse Institute secret scholarship story is facing up to two years jail. Max Chalmers reports.
A 21-year-old journalism student at the University of Technology, Sydney will face a Sydney Court this week to be sentenced for accessing student records that showed the Prime Minister’s daughter received a secret scholarship from the Whitehouse Institute of Design.
In September, Freya Newman pleaded guilty to breaching Section 308(H) of the NSW Crimes Act,which forbids accessing restricted data held in a computer.
The charge carries a jail sentence of up to two years.
Newman worked as a part-time librarian at the Whitehouse Institute, quitting shortly after it was revealed Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances had been approached by the college to accept a rare scholarship.
At the time Tony Abbott was the Leader of the Opposition.
Documents obtained by New Matilda showed Frances Abbott had a single meeting with the college’s owner Leanne Whitehouse, and after graduting from the three year course was also awarded given a job at the Institute.
Internal registers revealed that unlike the college’s 73 other employees, Frances Abbott had no assigned role.
Since charges have been brought against Newman, support has grown from sources as diverse as human rights lawyer Julian Burnside and former ‘Neighbours’ star Caitlin Stasey.


  1. Tony, his party and those of his opposite number had no compunction to accepting a 50% pay rise, completely unwarranted if productivity is supposed to be a requirement, so who would complain if the daughter of the PM is awarded a secret scholarship, beats lining up in that ever growing dole queue of real people caused by their outsourcing, free trading and generalised globalisation that only ensures one thing, that is that the wealth of our citizens will continue to be transferred to the pockets of their masters

  2. Typical of the corruption of the Canberra trough-feeders.

  3. StrongUnitedKingdom22 October 2014 at 01:15

    Just received a link to this story from a friend. Prima facie, this is clear abuse of power and corruption.
    Yes there is a clearly a law to stop people hacking and stealing official information.
    -But why was this personal info being kept on a govt computer system in the first place? Politician's children educational details are not state secrets nor are they relevant to policy or the execution of governance by PMs or the civil service.
    -Surely there must be a public interest defence here linked with a moral, if not civil duty to report wrongdoing. If this scholarship was won far and square, the details can be quickly reviewed and the matter closed. If this were the case though, one has to ask why the information was being held on a secure govt computer?
    -Also it needs to be asked objectively if the risk of damage by disclosure outweighed the risk of keeping it secret? No lives, property or money was put at risk here. If Abbott has done nothing wrong then he has nothing to fear.
    I'd strongly suggest that in addition to instructing a lawyer here, the services of a professional investigative journalist are engaged to reveal the facts here. And maybe even a Freedom of Information request to discover what other such secret gifts have been given to fellow politicians. If they come back and say they do not keep such info on official computer systems, then this shows Abbott has been hiding personal stuff on the wrong system.
    Seems like your politicians have the same disease that ours in the UK have.

  4. She should have got a medal not jail !

  5. Well he is our politician but he was born in England.
    Do you want him back?

  6. StrongUnitedKingdom22 October 2014 at 07:25

    No, we have boatloads of grafting, self-serving MPs complete with criminal records already thanks. Unless you would take Tony Blair in exchange?