Former principal in Qld court over fraud charges

One of Australia’s top indigenous schools wrongly claimed nearly $9 million in enrolment funding from the Queensland and Federal governments, a court has heard.

According The Australian, Djarragun College in far north Queensland claimed funding for hundreds of students who had left the school.

The school’s former principal Jean Illingworth has been charged with two counts of fraud and two counts of perverting the course of justice for allegedly interfering with witnesses. Ms Illingworth denies the charges.

The former Queensland Senior of the Year faced a committal hearing in the Cairns Magistrates Court yesterday, two years after a government-commissioned auditor examined the school’s records.

 

“Some schools are meticulous in their roll keeping…this one wasn’t one of those,” the auditor Edward Hobbs told Magistrate Sandra Pearson.

In 2009, he found the school claimed state government funding for 582 instead of the 457 it should have. In 2010, the discrepancy was only five. In 2011, that had blown out to 142 students over-claimed.

 

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