Humanforce is a global provider of workforce management solutions for companies who need flexibility to manage complex workforces. Companies use Humanforce to manage everything from time and…read more
Queensland’s Chief Scientist and Museum Chief Executive jailed after fraud conviction
Professor Suzanne Miller, former Chief Scientist and Chief Executive of the Queensland Museum, has been convicted of fraud and sentenced to three years imprisonment, to be suspended after three months, as a result of an investigation by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission.
Miller’s sentence resulted from her having misused about $75,000 in public funds with purchases that included a silk jacket, an electric scooter, a drum kit and private health insurance.
Labelling the senior executive’s actions as "blatant", "protracted" and a "significant breach of trust", Brisbane Magistrate Noel Nunan today ordered Miller to serve a total of three months behind bars, after which her jail term will be suspended and she will be placed on a three-year good behaviour bond when she leaves prison.
Miller appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court via video link after pleading guilty in March to causing financial detriment to the QMN between February 2014 and July 2017.
The Court heard that on two occasions Miller paid her daughter's private school fees using the corporate credit card.
Those amounts were later repaid.
Miller was appointed as Queensland’s Chief Scientist in late 2016, while continuing to work as Queensland Museum's Chief Executive and Director.
Despite initially earning $288,000 a year - which increased to a combined salary of $367,000 after she became Chief Scientist - Prosecutor Christopher Cook told the Court that her "significant" wage was not enough to satisfy Miller, advising that her offences resulted from “greed and arrogance, not out of need.”
Prosecutor Cook said the offences were not a momentary lapse but "a gross abuse of high office".
The Court heard Miller misused a corporate credit card 18 times between August 2014 and June 2016, amounting to more than $30,000 in expenditure.
Purchases included a $935 silk jacket, theatre tickets, an electric scooter and a drum kit.
She also used the corporate card to transfer money into her mortgage account and make fraudulent travel claims.
As well as making unauthorised purchases, Miller improperly obtained private health insurance worth $45,000.
The Court heard it came after she produced a letter stating she was entitled to get private insurance cover paid.
Magistrate Nunan noted “when you were employed by the museum in South Australia, you were on a particular visa that entitled you to have your employer pay that amount (for private health insurance).
"You used that same earlier letter from the South Australian authorities … not disclosing that you had subsequently become an Australian citizen, even though your CV disclosed that."
Miller's defence team told the Court she was remorseful and had made admissions and paid restitution.
The Court heard she had already spent 26 days behind bars after choosing to surrender herself into custody at a previous Court appearance.
This included 14 days in solitary confinement due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Miller was stood aside in 2017 after being charged following a probe by the state's Crime and Corruption Commission.
Magistrate Nunan made an order that restitution for the full amount be paid immediately to the Queensland Museum.
Image: Professor Suzanne Miller. Credit: Queensland Museum.
6th September 2017 - Billabong’s Matthew Perrin loses appeal against fraud conviction
27th January 2017 - Former Billabong Chief Executive handed eight-year jail sentence for fraud
16th May 2016 - Queensland Museum draws record crowds
14th May 2015 - New Biodiversity Partnership for Queensland Museum
16th May 2013 - Senior appointments in Queensland culture
6th November 2009 - Queensland Orchestra gets new home with ABC
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
AUSTRALIAN MADE. FIT FOR PURPOSE. Based on the Gold Coast, AlphaFit is a leading manufacturer and supplier of Australian gym equipment specifically for the commercial, strength and conditioning,…read more
Email for trade enquiries: Enquiriesapac@myzone.org Customer support desk - Click Myzone support or go to ‘help’ on myzone app to access live support. Myzone® is the leading…read more
As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd. Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing. 19th July 2018 - ENTA…read more
Yellowbox is an Australian technology company that has developed smart locker technology operated through an app with a focus on experience for users and facility managers. Found at Beaches, Aquatic…read more
Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…read more
Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…read more
TicketSearch is focused on providing businesses, organisations, and venues with affordable, efficient, and powerful self-managed ticketing solutions. The organisation has offices in Australia, New…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!