(EX-SENATOR JACK EVANS, AN AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRAT LEADER IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA AT SUCCESSFUL 1997 FEDERAL ELECTION, AND ONE OF THE ASPECTS OF HIS PAST, INVESTIGATED BY STUDENTSí GUILD, MURDOCH UNIVERSITY, PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
Murdoch Meteor, 1988 [month to be supplied later]
On the 15th of June, 1988 a two-page document was handed in to the Guild at Murdoch. The person who presented this document claimed that it had been removed, that week, from a bulletin board at "Australian Business College", 111 St George's Tce, Perth. The front page of this paper is reproduced here. You will note that the qualifications for entry to Murdoch University are given as:
As no-one in the Guild had ever heard of A.B.C., however, the regulations governing entry to Murdoch are clear (and spelled out on pages of the University Handbook and Calendar) we decided that a bit of investigative journalism was called for.
No-one at the Guild had much experience in investigative journalism, however, we thought that the best way to find out about the AB.C. and whether the misrepresentation of Murdoch had had any effect was to go and speak to the students enrolled there.
We were confronted by a wall of silence. Everyone seemed too scared to speak. Students who say "1 can't say anything, ask someone else" arouse a great deal of interest. Students are much better known for saying lots, and the opportunity to get quoted in the media brings the average student out of the woodwork faster than pre-released exam questions.
One word that did catch our ears was "deportation". Now we (like you, no doubt) thought that deportation was the realm of the Government. Specifically the Department of Immigration. However, all the students we saw at A.B.C. were full fee-paying overseas students so we decided to press on. The picture we began to build up was not a pretty one. It involved allegations of threats and intimidation to hide what were serious claims of misrepresentation that in our opinion amounted to a rip-off of a small group of people who had little or no protection under Australian law (or the law of anyone else for that matter).
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Australian Business College, accreditation of courses,
for both Curtin and Murdoch Universities; 42 Kb
All the students reported that they were recruited, in Asia, by representatives of a company called "Inter-Ed". These representatives claimed to be the agents for "Australian Business College", located in Perth with affiliate colleges in Sydney and Melbourne. The minimum cost for any course was $A4950.00, however, a lot was promised for this money.
The following are common complaints that are included in an internal government department report on the A.BC. This document has not been made public. The bold type in the following are direct quotes from this document and the section that follows is based on the declarations of the students whose signed depositions we managed to collect, and our own investigations.
1) The various diploma courses are recognised by Australian, U.K. and U.S.A. Universities
2) Some courses and subjects entitle students to exemptions in further tertiary courses.
The students allege that they were informed that on completion of their A.B.C. diploma they would receive four credit points at an Australian university. The A.B.C. had actually asked for such exemptions for their students from Murdoch. The reply (dated 1lth June, 1987) from Murdoch includes the statement: "We would not be prepared to award any credit or exemptions towards any of the university's degrees to graduates of the College". After the AB.C. approached one of our professors in a bit of backdoor lobbying, the university responded with a similar statement.
3) Facilities on Campus
a) Library b) Common Room c) Sports Ground d) Accommodation -- student hostel -- Including meals.
Specifically, the students claim that they were shown photographs which were said to be of the "Campus" of A.B.C. They claim that on arrival in Perth they recognised:
a) The library to be the Alexander Turnbull Library. b) The sports ground to be the W.A.C.A. c) The 'walkways' to be the Hay Street Mall.
The picture of the main campus shows a multi-storey building. The reality is that A.B.C. leases three* floors of the National Mutual Building. [* two floors was the correct number--Reformers' Club]
4. Employment. Assistance will be given by the College for students to find employment. They can earn $8 per hour weekdays; $24 per hour, weekends.
You can make up your own mind about the wage rates. If you do know of reputable businesses offering part-time weekend work paying $24..00 per hour, can you please let the Guild know. The students further allege that when they approached the college in Perth they were informed "we are not an employment agency", and no help was provided.
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Australian Business College,
1988 term dates and course fees; 39 Kb
WHY THE SILENCE
If the following allegations are true then they amount to the most damning of all the statements. The students claim that when they became aware that what they were promised was not what they were going to get, they attempted to approach ex-Democrat Senator Jack Evans who heads the College. Most claimed that they were unable to see Jack personally or Sue Watson (the registrar) to voice their dissatisfaction.
They claim that they were subsequently contacted and informed that if there were any complaints they would be considered troublemakers and expelled from the College (without any refunds). This would render their student visa invalid and they would be deported. If these allegations are true they represent a gross misuse of the system which was designed to educate -- not enforce silence.
Belatedly, the Government is introducing controls (see box). In the meantime the reputation of Australia has been subject to attack and the reputation of our own institution has been used for financial gain by a business whose activities are at best questionable.
P.S. Full credit must go to our University who, when informed of the claimed links, immediately took action. The thanks of the students and potential students of A.B.C. go out to the only body concerned in these allegations that has acted promptly to ensure that integrity is maintained.
During the politically "heady" days of the late '60s and early '70s Australia saw the birth of a new political party. Formed by Senator Don Chipp after he left the inner circles of the Liberal Party, the Democrats promised to take the centre ground in Australian politics.
In W.A. the loudest spokesperson for the fledgling party was Jack Evans. Jack stumped the state calling at every opportunity that the Democrats would "Keep the bastards honest". The cry was heard and Jack found himself Senator Jack Evans, Democrat Senator for Western Australia.
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"Crackdown in abuses in overseas student program,"
newspaper article, by Donald Greenlees; 69 Kb
(Put on WWW 07 Feb 1997, revised 06 October 1997, last modified at JCM's home on 09 Aug 2013)
DOC. 36: URL= http://www.georgist.multiline.com.au/evans_j.htm