Australia’s largest Islamic School has been ordered to repay $11 million after falsely claiming to be not-for-profit to receive government funding.
Malek Fahd Islamic School in western Sydney received millions in grants over 2014 and 2015 on the basis that it was not making any money.
But the Non-Government Schools Not-for-profit Advisory Committee has since determined the school was making money during that period, and has recommended it repay $11 million.
That is on top of a $4 million debt it is already paying off after the school was found to be in breach of the same policy from 2010 to 2012.
Malek Fahd Islamic School in western Sydney (Greenacre campus pictured) received millions in grants over 2014 and 2015 on the basis that it was not making any money
The school’s chairman, John Bennett, told The Daily Telegraph the matter was being resolved, but declined to comment on what would happen to the school if it could not meet the government’s demands.
‘The school is providing information to the state government as requested to satisfy its requirements,’ Dr Bennett said in a statement.
The committee also suggested all future funding to the school be suspended until new rules are implemented and funding is cut for Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.
Currently, the school is repaying $4 million over a seven year period by having annual grants cut by $575,000 each year until 2024.
The school sought an internal review of the advisory committee’s findings about the 2014 and 2015 funding.
From there, it went to the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which determined the initial recommendations should be upheld.
In May, New South Wales Education Minister Sarah Mitchell wrote to the school asking for an estimation of when the repayments would begin.
In May, New South Wales Education Minister Sarah Mitchell wrote to the school asking for an estimation of when the repayments would begin
The school has 2800 students across three campuses at Greenacre, Hoxton Park and Beaumont Hills.
It made headlines in 2019 after a female prison psychologist banned from practising over a relationship with a notorious Skaf gang rapist was hired as the counsellor at the Greenacre campus.
The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal banned Joanne Senior from practising as psychologist or counsellor for three years from 2015.
But her practising ban lapsed in the middle of 2018. And Daily Mail Australia revealed Malek Fahd Islamic School announced she began working with students in February 2019.
At the time, a school spokesman said they weren’t initially aware of her employment history.
She was told not to attend school the following day as the matter was being considered.
The school has 2800 students across three campuses at Greenacre (campus pictured), Hoxton Park and Beaumont Hills