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Michael Bachelard

Michael Bachelard is Fairfax Media's Indonesia correspondent. A former political reporter and workplace relations writer, he was awarded a Jefferson Fellowship in journalism in 2005. He is the author of Behind The Exclusive Brethren.

Acquire Learning casts 'a very dark shadow' over its clients

Michael Bachelard The desperate and jobless are sold hope, but all they are buying is debt

Demetriou company Acquire Learning accused of unconscionable conduct

Acquire Learning executive chairman Andrew Demetriou.

Michael Bachelard Former AFL chief Andrew Demetriou's vocational education company Acquire Learning has been accused of unconscionable conduct, making false or misleading representations and breaching...

Vocational students may pay as Phoenix Institute takes government to court

ACN chief executve Ivan Brown.

Michael Bachelard Ivan Brown, the chief executive of Melbourne's Phoenix Institute, has taken the Turnbull government to the Federal Court in the first legal challenge to its attempts to rein in the scandal-plagued...

Vocational education crisis: AIPE college paid $1 million a graduate

''They are taking advantage of people with a disability'': Helen Fielding with her partner Ricky Pettet at their home near Newcastle.

Eryk Bagshaw and Michael Bachelard Helen Fielding thought she'd withstood her fair share of hardship. Then the college recruiters came knocking.

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Phoenix Institute closes after government crackdown, students devastated

The Phoenix Institute on Queens Street.

Michael Bachelard Melbourne's Phoenix Institute has become the first vocational college to close down as a result of a federal government crackdown which this week froze funding to the entire sector.

Top vocational college AIPE may be shut down

AIPE's chief executive and owner, Amjad Khanche, said earlier this year that his Sydney-based college represented the best of the troubled industry.

Michael Bachelard, Eryk Bagshaw One of Australia's largest private colleges allegedly signed up new students without their knowledge or consent, a government regulator has found.

Education scandal: ACCC hits Phoenix Institute for false, misleading, unconscionable conduct

Australian Careers Network chief executive Ivan Brown

Michael Bachelard Consumer commission moves against allegedly dodgy college, but can it get the taxpayers $106 million back?

Dodgy vocational colleges using laptop lure despite government crackdown

Tasmin Watson, 18, and her mother Lenore Lutanichi.

Michael Bachelard 'The government is offering laptops'. Hidden video shows how dodgy vocational colleges are still selling courses to the poor.

Paris attacks: Why France? Is it particularly vulnerable to terrorism?

A weekly market in the multicultural Bondy suburb of Paris, where beneath the surface tensions are bubbling.

Michael Bachelard Why, for the second time in less than a year, has Paris been hit with a mass casualty attack by Islamist terrorists? Is France uniquely vulnerable to these attacks? 

Vocational college allegedly preys on Aboriginal communities

Unique International College chief executive Amarjit Khela

Michael Bachelard Court action against a dodgy vocational college has laid bare the ruthless tactics used to reap millions of dollars of taxpayer money from the Commonwealth.

Blair Cottrell, rising anti-Islam movement leader, wanted Hitler in the classroom

Blair Cottrell, pictured in one of his Facebook posts.

Michael Bachelard, Luke McMahon A man who was briefly leader of Australia's most vocal anti-Islam street movement, the United Patriots Front, has a history online of supporting far-right causes, including wanting to hang a picture...

Vocational college Phoenix Institute set to lose registration after ripping off taxpayers

Euroa couple Jacinda and Arthur Eastham, who were sold a course by a Phoenix Institute salesman.

Michael Bachelard, Matthew Knott and Henrietta Cook A Fairfax investigation exposed a dodgy vocational college, which will now lose its registration

Sapper and bomb-sniffer dog memorial contains layers of emotion

Melbourne sculptor Ewen Coates has just completed the newest addition to the War Memorial commemorating

Michael Bachelard Man and dog gaze into each others eyes, the electric space between them fizzing with currents of devotion, trust and shared endeavour.

Vocational education: how the shonks and shysters took control

Michael Bachelard Billions of taxpayer dollars have pumped up the profits of private companies that often have little experience in education.

Exclusive Brethren leader Bruce Hales says man 'in torment' should kill himself

Bruce D. Hales, Sydney-based leader of the Exclusive Brethren, pictured with his wife Jennifer.

Michael Bachelard The wealthy businessman says the man should prefer to die rather than talk to members of his family who had left the sect.

Vocational colleges preying on retirees in trawl for government cash

Warwick Martell, 87, was enrolled with 60 other residents of his retirement home in a computer course.

Michael Bachelard  Warwick Martell wonders why, at 87 and firmly retired, the Victorian government would pay to equip him with computer skills for the workforce of the future?

Phoenix Institute under investigation and may lose vocational registration

Nikhil Talwar

Michael Bachelard, Matthew Knott, Henrietta Cook The vocational college at the centre of rorting allegations reported in Fairfax Media will be investigated immediately and may lose its permission to bill the federal government...

Place of worship ban among tough restrictions on former terror suspect teen Harun Causevic

Harun Causevic leaves court after having terror charges dropped by prosecuters.

Michael Bachelard, Chris Vedelago A teenage former terror suspect who had charges against him dropped for lack of evidence has been hit with a highly restrictive control order that restricts him to worshiping in one mosque only, and...

Vocational education, the biggest get-rich quick scheme in Australia

Arthur and Jacinda Eastham

Michael Bachelard, Henrietta Cook, Matthew Knott It's grown from nothing to costing taxpayers $4 billion this year, and growing fast, and there are few controls. Now the salesmen and shysters are in charge of Australia's vocational education system.

Disabled and living in public housing: the victims of a private training college

 Jacinda and Arthur Eastham

Henrietta Cook, Michael Bachelard Despite being told they had intellectual disabilities, the Phoenix Institute salesman who knocked on the Easthams' housing commission door put them under pressure to sign up for expensive...