In the 1990’s Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia, worked for law firm Slater & Gordon. However in 1996 she left that job following an internal inquiry into some dealings she had made on behalf of the Australian Workers Union (AWU). The concern was that whilst Gillard was representing AWU she was also dating an AWU official by the name of Bruce Wilson. This is slightly tricky territory anyway, but the situation intensified when Wilson was accused of stealing up to $1 million from the AWU in 1995. Whether Gillard had any part in the fraud however is still unproven.

This story is not new by any means; Gillard’s entire political career has seen this story unearthed time and time again. It found itself thrust into the limelight once again this July when ‘The Australian’ newspaper printed an article that stated a Melbourne lawyer, Harry Nowicki, had uncovered some fresh juicy information about the case. A series of articles followed until a transcript of a final meeting which Gillard attended before she left the firm was also published in ‘The Australian’ in mid-August. However since then there has been very little coverage of the story at all, most noticably in mainstream Australian newspapers.

Due to the lack of coverage from the usual places, the internet has steped in to fill the void and run with this story. Segments of the world internet community have been in uproar that this scandal has never once been investigated, except for the internal inquiry at Slater & Gordon. Even when the police got involved Gillard was never fully investigated to find out to what extent (if any) she was involved.

What many are asking is, why have the media decided to turn a blind eye to what could be a very serious crime? The real story may lie in whether Gillard has somehow been able to keep the media from reporting on the story now that she is in a position of power. Possibly newspapers think that people just don’t care about something that happened nearly 20 years ago and see no point in publishing it, but this seems an increasingly unlikley explanation. The internet campaign shows no signs of stopping, and may lead to the investigation reopening in the near future.

[Mhairi Bruce]

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