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RETRACTED – NUS gets heavy with alleged ANUSA fraud

By johnboy - 7 June 2012 22

The National Union of Students ACT Branch is looking very concerned by this morning’s allegations of missing funds from the ANU Student Association.

The National Union of Students ACT Branch has demanded the ANU Students’ Association call a crisis general meeting after its funds were allegedly stolen.

Up to $60,000 is known to be missing from the Students’ Association (ANUSA), the campus newspaper, and a student sporting group.

The man suspected of the fraud is a former elected office-holder in ANUSA.

“ANU students deserve to know if their money was stolen, how it was stolen, and who stole it”, Michael Pettersson, the President of the National Union of Students ACT, said.

“A crisis general meeting of ANUSA must be held to force current representatives to be open with students about the allegations.”

UPDATE 08/06/12 09:12: The NUS high command is deeply displeased and has issued this follow up:


The National Union of Students (NUS) ACT State Branch President, Michael Pettersson, earlier today issued a media release regarding alleged misconduct in the Students’ Association at the Australian National University.

NUS retracts all statements made in relation to this matter. The official spokesperson of NUS, National President Donherra Walmsley, said that Mr Pettersson was not acting under the authority of the National Union of Students when he made his comments.

“It would be completely inappropriate for anyone from NUS to make a comment at this time, as there is currently an investigation underway. This matter should be left to the relevant authorities and ANUSA to resolve.”

The National Union will not be commenting further on this matter.

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22 Responses to
RETRACTED – NUS gets heavy with alleged ANUSA fraud
c_c 12:49 pm 08 Jun 12

I have never been a willing member of a union, I will never be a willing member of a union.

Between this and the HSU, it just proves what most people have long known. Unions aren’t about the people, it’s a savvy disguise for an elite group to profit and achieve professional progress in the name of working for the people.

Institutionalised corruption with a .org at the end.

schmeah 12:30 pm 08 Jun 12

Good to see the agents of nepotism at the NUS haven’t lost their spark since my days of sending the s* flying.

Better put a leash on the pond scum they supported by gagging who wants to locate the missing $60K. Wost “union” in the country, if it’s possible to go lower than the HSU at the moment.

gazket 11:08 am 08 Jun 12

does Craig Thomson have a love child at the ANU and does Julia Gillard have a love child releasing media retraction statements.

NoAddedMSG 9:30 am 08 Jun 12

While is wasn’t great that someone publicly named him, in reality rather a lot of ANU people knew straight away who it was simply from the info that was given about the entitites involved – it’s a small world.

p1 9:29 am 08 Jun 12

I thought that comment from NUS was a little odd.

QuietPlease 11:45 pm 07 Jun 12


“working somewhat at least” I should’ve said.

But names definitely should not be speculated upon at least until charges are laid.

simonleeds 11:36 pm 07 Jun 12

QuietPlease said :

Also, we DO know that this was detected, which means the controls are working, and we DO know that action has been taken addressing this situation.

if you don’t know how early it was detected than how do you “know” that the controls are working?
and, look, it’s a RiotAct comment thread.. I think people are generally aware that comments are going to be necessarily speculative.

QuietPlease 11:05 pm 07 Jun 12

Breaking with the trend and running with facts:

We don’t know how much was taken from each organisation.

We don’t know how early it was detected.

If it was detected earlier, we don’t know why the police are being contacted now,
maybe waiting for the result of a comprehensive audit, maybe seeking a civil settlement…we don’t know.

We don’t know it was that mentioned individual and as no charges have been laid, you would all do well not to publicise speculation.

Alternatively, we DO know that the NUS has since put out a full retraction, dismissing NUS ACT’s statement and offering full support to ANUSA and the other student bodies on their handling of the situation.

Also, we DO know that this was detected, which means the controls are working, and we DO know that action has been taken addressing this situation.

It’s amazing the difference between what people “know” and what people know.

Morgan 10:27 pm 07 Jun 12

c_c said :

They apparently spend $6000 a year on auditing so you’d expect that to pick up on this.


That is not going to be a very thorough audit if it’s only six grand. Besides if the audit would only pick up if the accounts were misstated or there were controls circumvented. That’s why it’s called fraud.

c_c 10:16 pm 07 Jun 12

Here we go:

Particularly like: “Liaised with internal and external stakeholders regarding risk management…”

and “Liaising with auditor and bookkeepers”

and this classic “Aspiring writer/speechwriter/political staffer.”

Sam Seabourne aspirant with an Alan Bond complex.

hk0reduck 9:30 pm 07 Jun 12

He’s clamped down on all his online stuff (FB/LinkedIn) in light of this.

HIs LinkedIn is interesting and still caught by the Google Cache.
ANU Student Media
Managing annual budget of $150,000

Australian National University Students’ Association
Managing an annual budget of $800,000

simonleeds 9:23 pm 07 Jun 12

Is it seriously possible to entertain the thought that Victor White (there’s absolutely no reason for withholding his name, legal or ethical, at this point) was the sole signatory to the ANUSA and ANUSM accounts? I think there’s a way to go with this yet..

hk0reduck 9:00 pm 07 Jun 12
satyr 8:47 pm 07 Jun 12

He was treasurer of Woroni and the Sports Association as well. I assume that the theft was spread across the three organisations. You’d think however that this would increase his chances of being caught earlier.

c_c 5:33 pm 07 Jun 12

To put these figures in perspective, ANUSA’s annual budget for 2010 had income of just over $640,000.

So if the figure reported by CT of up to $60,000 is correct, and over a short period, then it’s easy to see why NUS is reacting to this. How can you lose almost 10% of your funds? And how can you only realise accidentally well after the fact?

Or to make another comparison, that is the entire salaries of the ANUSA executive combined.

They apparently spend $6000 a year on auditing so you’d expect that to pick up on this.

(On a slightly related note, ANUSA’s income is just over a million this year thanks to the SSAF).

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