Freya Newman avoids conviction over Frances Abbott scholarship leak.

After pleading guilty in September to illegally accessing the records of Frances Abbott at the Whitehouse Institute of Design, and uncovering the knowledge that Ms Abbott had been the recipient of a rare, high-paying scholarship, Freya Newman has been issued a Section 10 and a two-year conditional bond for the leak of Ms Abbott’s records.

This means that Ms Newman will have no criminal record in regards to the accessing and distributing of Ms Abbott’s educational records, and must also maintain her good behaviour bond for two years.

// Back in May, New Matilda published an article, revealing that during her time at the Whitehouse Institute of Design – a private college that is known for not advertising, let along handing out, scholarships – Frances Abbott had been the recipient of the ‘Managing Director’s Scholarship’, to the tune of $60,000. New Matilda also revealed that this scholarship meant that Ms Abbott only paid $7,546 for the $68,182 degree.

Since then, the blame has been pinned on Freya Newman, who was an assistant at the private college’s library. It was alleged that Ms Newman had illegally accessed Ms Abbott’s personal student file through the use of a co-worker’s login details. Ms Newman pleaded guilty to these accusations in October. Since Ms Newman’s whistleblowing of Ms Abbott’s experience at Whitehouse Institute of Design, several of Ms Abbott’s classmates and teachers have come forward, expressing that Ms Abbott was not deserving of such a scholarship, nor were they aware that such a scholarship even existed.

Twitter is pleased with the result, despite the Australian court’s stance on whistleblowers still being fairly unknown. Though, Ms Newman’s evasion of conviction today is a step in the right direction of keeping our government accountable.



Words by Courtney Fry
Feature Image: Facebook


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