An ex-Queensland principal will find out on Wednesday whether she will be released on bail after fudging student numbers to gain millions for her school.
A former Senior Australian of the Year accused of fraudulently claiming millions of taxpayer dollars for one of the country’s top indigenous schools has again applied for bail.
Jean Illingworth, the former principal of Djarragun College near Cairns, is expected to find out on Wednesday afternoon whether her fourth bail bid has been successful.
The 67-year-old is accused of inflating student numbers at the school to obtain up to $9 million in extra government funding for the school.
She is also accused of interfering with witnesses when she was released after being charged early last year.
A separate trial relating to these charges may take place in November.
The Supreme Court in Cairns heard Illingworth’s bail application on Tuesday and Justice Jim Henry is set to make a decision on Wednesday afternoon.
Her lawyers have argued their client should be released so she can prepare her September trial.
Up to 70 witnesses, including 50 current and former school staff, will give evidence and up to 17,000 documents, mainly enrolment and financial records, will be presented at the trial.
Illingworth has been in custody in a Townsville women’s prison for almost a year.
Illingworth, who worked at the college for about a decade, was named Queensland Senior Australian of the Year in 2009 for her work in transforming the once-dysfunctional college into a much admired model of success.
She has always maintained her innocence.