Intern penetrates high-level Coalition policy meeting

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That fresh faced intern in the corner could be masking a dark secret – are they really a spy sent by a rival organisation on an intelligence mission?

Australian National University (ANU) student Aaron Santelises single handedly triggered an uproar in the senior ranks of the Opposition, after it was discovered the fresh faced youngster had run for a competing Labor seat in the recent Queensland elections. Yet the discovery was only made several weeks into the internship, after he was recognized by a Coalition staffer following his attendance at a private party room policy briefing.

While it’s yet to be determined why Santelises didn’t reveal his political persuasion to the ANU work experience organisers, the Coalition labelled the incident a ‘breach of trust’ by the ANU, and questioned how the student managed to breeze through its checks.

Senate Deputy President Stephen Parry promptly requested the student be dismissed from the program, and sought an explanation from the university. “The ANU have decided to terminate the placement with my office because full facts had not been disclosed which contravenes the spirit of the placements,” he said.

An ANU spokesman told News Limited it was disappointed at Santelises' failure to disclose his history, and said the university was reviewing his position in the program and the processes for the scheme. “The university was very disappointed to discover that a student placed in Senator Parry's office had failed to disclose his political affiliation when enrolling in the internship program,” the spokesman said. “'We acted immediately, met with the Senator, and the student was removed from the placement the same day.”


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