Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Frances Abbott seems pretty academically void of merit to me

To add fuel to an already crackling fire, I've dug up a little indicator that Tony Abbott's middle daughter Frances Abbott is clearly not the brightest of the Abbott sisters, and was thus obviously offered a secret scholarship by Whitehouse Institute because her ATAR wouldn't have gotten her anywhere special based on her actual academic merits. (Find me anyone else in the state who has managed a $60,000+ scholarship from nothing more than a Band 6 in Art as a display of 'merit'.)

(Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College)
2006 HSC Band 6 results:
- Ancient History
- English Advanced
- Studies of Religion

BRIDGET ABBOTT (Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College)
2010 HSC Band 6 results:
- Ancient History
- English Advanced
- Studies of Religion

FRANCES ABBOTT (Monte Sant' Angelo Mercy College)
2009 HSC Band 6 results:
- Visual Arts

It has been suggested that Frances was planning on undertaking a Bachelor of Design at a competing design school, Billy Blue. The academic requirements of this course are an ATAR of 64.
I'm really struggling here to fathom how a private school girl who attended Mont Sant' Angelo Mercy College (which has an ICSEA rating of 1176 and an average $20,500 annual fee) whose father was the established opposition leader at the time on a salary of about $200,000 (later boosted up to $360,000) and who only managed one Band 6 result in her HSC would be considered in need of, or deserving of, over $60,000 in scholarship.

The Whitehouse Institute website proclaims that they do not "... currently offer scholarships to get into the Bachelor of Design" and will only offer scholarships for study "...during the academic year to students who have formally commenced their studies and show exceptional ability and dedication."
However, the fact that Les Taylor, Chairman of the Board at the Whitehouse Institute and frequent financial supporter of the Liberal Party in the tens of thousands of dollars, approached Frances Abbott with the offer of a scholarship at the institute, and they then went out of their way to phone Ms Abbott four times in December 2010 to arrange a meeting for February 2011 to offer her a scholarship then and there, stinks terribly of a 'gift' to me.

The Abbott government's recent Budget has been lambasted for lowering the income threshold for HECS repayments by 10%, increasing interest rates on loans, and removing the cap on university fees which opens them up to exorbitant costs.

It is all well and good to make young Australians pay through the nose for their education when your own daughter is having her future spoonfed into her mouth with fine silverware.


Anonymous said...

I don't know why people would be outraged over this. Frances *is* after all the child of a far right wing Liberal politician and this fits right in with the Liberal ethos of running two systems... one for the rich, one for the poor. Besides, it was a 'personal' scholarship awarded by the 'founder' who, I suppose, can do whatever the hell she likes with her money. Besides, who knows, maybe she *was* awarded the money on 'merit'. Cynics might argue that it was her being 'the child of her father' that made her meritorious... I suppose we'll never know.

Nib Oswald said...

Tony Abbott claims that as this scholarship was 'based on merit', he did not have to declare it as a gift.

We've pretty much destroyed the argument of merit based on what scholarship standards the Whitehouse Institute has themselves set out.

lastbreathsigh said...

Really? Digging through teenage girls' high school results to get at their dad? That's fucking creepy, and borderline stalking

Nib Oswald said...

- She was in her twenties when the scholarship was accepted

- 'Digging'... every student in NSW has their HSC results publically displayed on the Board Of Studies website each year

- The institution is clearly the target here, if they are the ones claiming academic merit and my argument was that there was not really much academic merit being displayed worthy of $60k worth of scholarship

- Kindly elaborate on how one is supposed to form an argument without researching the information to support it