JULIAN Assange’s path to global fame may well have had its roots at CQUniversity.
The Morning Bulletin can reveal the WikiLeaks mastermind was enrolled in an early computer programming course through the Rockhampton-based university in 1994 when he was in his early 20s living in Melbourne.
While Assange was just another external student at the time, his talent for computer programming was beginning to blossom as he embarked on a career which now sees him as one of the world’s most influential and famous – and in many eyes notorious – people.
CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman yesterday was chuffed to have the free-speech champion on the university’s list of past students who have gone on to achieve stunning success.
“I understand he did some work with us,” Mr Bowman said after attending a graduation ceremony, ironically in Melbourne.
“It’s always interesting to see what your students go on to.”
“We have graduates on Broadway, an auditor general of Victoria, a vice-chancellor at another university ... and now we have Mr Assange.”
He said Mr Assange’s passion for “questioning conventional wisdom” was supported by CQUniversity’s principles. “One of our core values is openness,” he said. “You can’t get any more open than (WikiLeaks) this.”
Julian Assange and his whistleblowing website WikiLeaks have severely embarrassed governments around the world by releasing classified and secret documents which have also exposed war crimes.
Mr Assange, 39, is currently on bail in the UK to fight his extradition to Sweden where he faces allegations of sexual misconduct.
He claims to have attended 36 schools and six universities in Australia.