Police Inquire Into Waterstreet Allegations, While University Bans His Job Ads


Pressure continues to mount on Charles Waterstreet – the inspiration behind the popular ABC television drama Rake. Nina Funnell reports.

NSW Police began making inquiries this morning into allegations prominent Sydney barrister Charles Waterstreet sexually harassed a young woman during a job interview at his Elizabeth Street offices in August this year.

On Tuesday New Matilda revealed explosive claims made by third year Sydney University law student, Tina Huang, alleging that Mr Waterstreet showed her nude images of women and a masturbation video during the one-hour job interview.

Ms Huang also alleged that Mr Waterstreet described how he liked to go to sex parties and enjoyed having women snort cocaine off his body, before revealing he preferred to hire “pretty young things” to work with him.

Today, Ms Huang was contacted by NSW Police. Her lawyer Michael Bradley, managing partner at Marque Lawyers said “it took a lot of courage for my client to come forward publicly and I hope that other women will feel empowered to tell their stories too.”

Ms Huang, 21, applied for the paralegal position after seeing the job advertised in Sydney University’s CareersHub website.

Approximately 80 students gathered in a snap protest outside the new law faculty building at Sydney University at lunch time to demand Mr Waterstreet’s job ads are no longer promoted to students.

Protestors at Sydney University earlier today, in which they successfully demanded job ads from Charles Waterstreet be banned from the Sydney University online jobs forum.
Protestors at Sydney University earlier today, in which they successfully demanded job ads from Charles Waterstreet be banned from the Sydney University online jobs forum.

A spokesperson for the university has confirmed the ban on job ads from Mr Waterstreet.

“The personal safety of our students is of primary concern,” a university spokesperson told Honi Soit.

The protest was organised by Sydney University Women’s Collective.

“It is incredibly brave for Tina to speak out about a situation where the power differential between Waterstreet and herself was staggering,” a member of the Collective was reported as saying.

“It is rare that a harasser is publicly accused. Powerful men like Waterstreet usually get to harass women with impunity, no matter how many people in their industry know about it,” the Collective said.

In other developments, television and news media staked out Mr Waterstreet’s CBD office today, with journalists reporting that he “slipped out a side door” to avoid the waiting media. However New Matilda understands that Channel 7 obtained a brief interview with Mr Waterstreet later in the afternoon.

Mr Waterstreet continues to deny the allegations and told The Daily Telegraph overnight, “I am the one being victimised.”

* Marque Lawyers acts for New Matilda.


Nina Funnell & Chris Graham

CHRIS GRAHAM has worked in the media for more than three decades. He has won a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation, and two Human Rights Awards for his reporting on Indigenous affairs. Chris also shared the Andrew Schneider Award in the United States for an investigative feature on asbestos. Chris served on the Australian Press Council for three years, and is the editor and owner of New Matilda. He is the former founding editor of the National Indigenous Times, and the former founding Managing Editor of Tracker magazine. NINA FUNNELL is an Our Watch Walkley award winning freelance journalist and a director of End Rape On Campus Australia. Nina has been named Journalist of the Year at the B&T Women in Media awards (2019) and one of the 100 most influential women in Australia by the Australian Financial Review (2018). Nina has also been awarded the United Nations Media Award (2017), an Australian Human Rights Commission community individual award (2010) and in 2019 her #LetHerSpeak campaign was named News Corp's 'News Campaign of the Year'.