April 27, 2004 | Jeff Wall

A scandal with wide ramifications

ANYONE who watched the “A Current Affair” expose on Brisbane “entrepreneur” Keith Lloyd and his association with the Shafston International College could not help but be appalled at the revelations, and alarmed at the possible wider implications.
I did not know until I saw the program that the particular college is in fact a privately owned educational centre, with the most tenuous association with the University of New England. I did know that it has attracted thousands of international students, but I had always presumed it was simply a campus of New England University.
We now know it is a private college (with a limited tertiary status) established by Mr Lloyd who, until Monday, was its President, and who lived in a penthouse on top of the College’s residential building. The propriety of such a “living” arrangement is questionable even without the serious allegations now confronting Mr Lloyd.
The rapid growth of university and other tertiary college campus operations not directly controlled by an established university or higher education entity has been hailed as the new way in education – and in the export of education services.
The question which needs to be asked, and asked widely, is what federal or state authority is responsible for the monitoring of the mushrooming private college industry?
Our government and non-government schools, churches and community groups, and even tertiary institutions, have been forced to adopt transparent standards and rules when it comes to the relationship between staff and students, and the proper handling of allegations of sexual impropriety in particular.
If the same standards apply to private tertiary and training colleges – including those operating under the Federal Government’s training schemes – then Shaftson College needs to explain why it took a comprehensive investigation by Channel 9 to reveal behaviour by its President, which, on the basis of last night’s program is absolutely appalling and unacceptable………and possibly contrary to the criminal law.
Shafston College and the University of New England are now in “damage control”, but we know that the police investigated complaints against Mr Lloyd previously. Even though criminal proceedings did not result, surely the police informed the College that its President – living on the residential premises – had been the subject of a complaint.
If so, why did it take the College until the 11th hour – facing a nationwide television exposé – to secure Mr Lloyd’s removal as President?
Given that the female students – barely 16 years old – are from an Asian country, the potential for this story to damage our standing in the competitive and lucrative international educational area is enormous.
But the damage will be greater if the same standards now demanded of government and private schools, churches and community groups, are not imposed on the mushrooming commercial training/college industry as well.
The time is also surely right for all our universities to clarify their association with these commercial entities. The University of New England did not object to its very public association with Shafston College – signage, advertising etc – nor has it sought to limit that association until now.
“A Current Affair” did as comprehensive a job on Mr Lloyd as I have seen in many a day. The footage of a multi millionaire business tycoon cowering in a public toilet avoiding the microphone of a determined reporter rightly held him up to scorn and ridicule.
Shafston College has some serious questions to answer. It also needs to devise a way for Mr Lloyd’s apparent ownership of the College and its premises to be terminated as well – and do so pronto.
One can only hope the numerous other privately owned (but often publicly funded) colleges and training institutions sprouting up all around Australia ask themselves whether their standards measure up to those now rightly demanded of our schools, churches, and community groups?

Posted by Jeff Wall at 6:10 pm | Comments (7) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. I saw the Current Affair story on Keith Lloyd and I believe that he did do this to these girls. He was secretly caught on camera asking one of the girls if he could put his hand down their pants!! . He is as guilty as sin and I believe needs to be charged with attempted rape. Girls this young would feel very intimidated by someone like Keith and he has abused is position at the school.

    Comment by Angry — April 30, 2004 @ 7:56 pm

  2. Why does it not surprise me? I wonder just how long this has been going on for? And how many other girls have been through this but have left and now live in silence?

    Comment by Oxen — May 2, 2004 @ 10:00 pm

  3. This information needs to be circulated around the globe, through every discussion forum on Student & Teacher’s website’s.
    Please warn others of this danger.

    Comment by Dee — May 10, 2004 @ 12:10 pm

  4. We in Asia knows the racist nature of the Australian Laws and Authourities. Forcing sex against a young girl against her will is constituted as rape in most civilised countries except in Australia. Because a rich and powerfull Australian rapes young and vulnerable asian girls, the Australian police do nothing. We are disgusted.

    Comment by Joslai — May 15, 2004 @ 6:54 pm

  5. Keith Lloyd said he was going to give his side of the story once he returned from visiting the girls parents in Japan. I am completly amazed that Keith Lloyd thinks he can talk his way out of this, especially after he was caught on camera asking one of the girls if he could molest them. Keith was due back three weeks ago and we have not heard a peep from him…..

    Comment by Angry — May 29, 2004 @ 3:19 am

  6. I have friends in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. I have warned them all not to set foot near Shafston College.

    Comment by Doraemon — May 29, 2004 @ 3:51 am

  7. This is a sick sex predator who preys and rape young and vulnerable asian girls who unfortunately are students in australia. Because he is a white and powerfull businessman, the australian police and politicians are protecting him. We have decided to sent our children to Canada where at least we know the authourities there will protect them and prosecute rapist regardless of race, age, or profession. We have no confidence in Australian Law and we are disgusted.

    Comment by christylai — June 11, 2004 @ 4:38 pm

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