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Victoria’s “lunch club” scandal

The Age    |    3 May 2015

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Readers outside Victoria will not know much about this scandal unfolding before the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption (IBAC). But for anyone who is, or has been, involved in the Victorian education sector the revelations are gob-smacking. It’s a story of greed, graft and betrayal by certain senior officials who have, for more than a decade, been looting the schools education budget, to the tune of millions of dollars. As the hearings are only in their early stages, who knows where it will end up: there are over 40 more witnesses to be examined. This report in The Age, which has been instrumental in exposing this corrupt conduct, provides a pretty reasonable summary of proceedings to date.

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Rosewarne

The face of shame

At the very heart of the corruption scandal now ripping apart Victoria’s Education Department was a small group of senior men who regularly met for lunch.

Standing against the lunch club, or trying to, were a few brave women who tried to draw attention to the scandal; to blow the whistle on how hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars were flowing out of the state’s most disadvantaged schools, and into the pockets of the mates and their families.

But when they raised their voices in protest, the women were pushed into meaningless jobs, vilified or even made redundant. They face a significant problem: the person in the hierarchy they were supposed to report their concerns to was Jeff Rosewarne – the Education Department’s deputy secretary, and the convener of the lunch club.

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