Previously, Mamamia wrote…
The timing is almost too perfect. Barely a week after it was announced that Australian students will be saddled with deregulated university fees, with higher interest on their loans and no social safety net for six months if they fail to procure work immediately after graduation, we discover that the Prime Minister’s daughter got a completely free ride.
Frances Abbott attended Whitehouse Institute of Design – an expensive private fashion college – between 2011 and 2013 on a $60,000 scholarship. A “chairman’s scholarship” no less.
And who was the chairman that decided Frances would be the one to get her education for free, even though she comes from the rare family that could actually afford a $60,000 fee out of pocket? A Coalition donor.
What’s more, when you check the Whitehouse Institute of Design website, there’s no mention of a chairman’s scholarship at all. Her fellow Whitehouse students are outraged. ““It just seems like a free ride and not a scholarship,” one told The Guardian.
In fact, a lot of people are outraged.
The timing of this revelation is highly politically damaging and the media are eating it up. And in our ferocious appetite for a controversial story, it would be easy to assume that this is an isolated incident and all about the Prime Minister and his daughter.
But it isn’t… For Australia’s elite, favours like this – the opening of new jobs, of doors, of coffers – is a daily occurrence.
This isn’t an example of the system failing. This isn’t an example of corruption. This isn’t something Abbott should have had to declare. This is just what the system looks like.
The richest citizens in this country exist in tight-knit circles of nepotism. From a very young age, they’re trussed together at private schools; at expensive extra curricular programmes, at university.
All of these institutions function as networking events.
Then, in adulthood, these connections begin to pay off. Someone wins a place at someone else’s brother’s law firm. Someone’s old school chum knows about a terrific investment opportunity. Someone’s dad’s mate is sitting on the board of a fancy private design school.