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Vandals target Whitehouse Institute over Frances Abbott scholarship

Vandals have attacked the design school that gave Prime Minister Tony Abbott's daughter a $60,000 scholarship.

Dozens of red stickers saying "bullshit" were spread across the glass door and windows of the Whitehouse Institute of Design in Surry Hills overnight.

The private college came under fire after it was revealed it had awarded Frances Abbott a rare "chairman's scholarship" to cover the cost of her bachelor of design course.

Institute chairman Les Taylor is a Liberal Party donor and a long-time friend of Mr Abbott.

Inspector Dan Faulds, of Surry Hills police, said investigators were waiting to review security footage of the incident to see if they could identify any offenders.

He said the vandalism is thought to have occurred between 9.30pm and 10.30pm on Tuesday. Whitehouse staff called officers to the scene and they canvassed the area for information.


In a statement, Whitehouse Institute of Design chief executive Ian Tudor condemned the attack.

"We support the right of people to protest peacefully against government policies they are opposed to but there is simply no justification for singling out and disrupting our students and staff or vandalising our campus," Mr Tudor said.

A student spokesperson for the Socialist Alternative, which organised a protest outside Whitehouse's Melbourne campus on Wednesday afternoon, said the group was not responsible for the vandalism.

Ms Eckhaus said the protest was held to allow students to voice their anger about the awarding of the scholarship and the proposed shake-up of university course fees.

"It's pretty outrageous that in the context where university students, if this budget goes through, are going to have to pay the highest fees in Australia's history, that people like Tony Abbott's daughter are going to get a free ride," she said.

Ms Abbott has been working as a teacher's aide at Whitehouse in Melbourne, where she is also aiming to continue her studies.

Her father has defended the scholarship, saying his daughter was awarded the prize because of her academic potential and she maintained a distinction average while studying at the college.

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