Key 34: Dickson Frauds 1901


In 1901 the University, still suffering severely from the cutbacks of the Depression years, was rocked by the discovery that the accountant of seventeen years, F.T.J. Dickson had embezzled £23,839 pounds, keeping a second set of books to present to the auditors. In all the deficit for the year proved to be near enough to £35,000. While a severe blow to confidence in the University, and the cause of severe economies initially, the recommendations of the Fink Royal Commission and the policies adopted by the Bent Government in 1904, which included an offer to match any amount raised by public subscription, set the university off on a fruitful period of expansion.

Officers of the University, 1894
Officers of the University, including Dickson (front right), 1894
[Source: University of Melbourne Archives Image Catalogue, UMA-I-1292]