After a long inquiry into complaints at Bendigo South East College, the Victorian Ombudsman has found evidence that Principal Ernie Fleming had a conflict of interest and misused his power.
Running a public school is not a family business, and the same standards of good governance apply when it comes to managing public funds.
The real victims in this case are the teachers who stepped forward to raise their concerns.
It is clear from the report that the Department of Education failed to manage this issue effectively.
It is not good enough for the Deputy Premier and local member to describe the outcome as disappointing and move on.
This is the second time in as many years that a large organization in Bendigo has been investigated by IBAC (Independent Broad Based Anti Corruption Commission), after the CEO of Bendigo Hospital was stood down last year.
The current Labor Government has also been the subject of investigation by the Victorian Ombudsman.
Earlier this year the Ombudsman found that public funds were wrongly used to employ two staff to campaign in Bendigo East to help re-elect Jacinta Allan MP at the 2014 state election.
These investigations should serve as a wake up call to anyone who serves in a position of leadership, whether you're part of a small local club or head of an global institution.
To quote Lieutenant General David Lindsay Morrison AO, a senior officer in the Australian Army, "The standard you walk past is the standard you accept."
We need people with vision in leadership who also understand and uphold the values of good governance.
Trusting those in leadership is the cornerstone of good government, and cultural change is needed from the top down.
Gaelle Broad, Nationals candidate for Bendigo East
READ MORE: Ernie Fleming responds to ombudsman report
After the end of World War II I was studying philosophy at Charles university in Prague. In 1947 I have realized that all philosophical, political, religious and artistic isms - regardless of any claims to contrary - are only human products.
Some are better than others, but none of them is perfect. But there was no freedom of speech in former Czechoslovakia, which was being ruled by a communist dominated government.
In 1948, when it became obvious that communists will lose in coming general elections, they have staged revolution and seized total power. They have been backed up by the Russia Red Army.
I have escaped into American Zone of Germany and spent over one year in refugee camps, before I was granted political asylum in Australia.
But the philosophical discovery I have made, didn't appeal to some political and religious leaders in Australia either. Many of them rigidly believe that their conviction is the only one right and have built their entire life around it.
I have been able to publish my findings, but so far they were either ignored, or condemned. Basic truths may look rather simple, but are lasting and apply to everybody. Radical convictions of any kind tend to increase the division and lead to confrontation between people.
Jiri Kolenaty, Rushworth
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