News, Culture & Society

Alan Tudge affair: No adverse finding in Rachelle Miller probe

Married minister who admitted a secret affair with his staffer after she went public in TV interview is CLEARED of wrongdoing by probe

  • Education Minister Alan Tudge had an affair with former staffer Rachelle Miller 
  • She made allegations of bullying against Liberal MP which he strongly denied
  • An official report has made ‘no adverse findings’ against Minister Tudge 


Alan Tudge had an affair in 2017 with former media adviser Rachelle Miller (pictured)

An investigation into whether Alan Tudge bullied his former media advisor has made ‘no adverse findings’ against him.  

The Education Minister denied allegations of bullying by Rachelle Miller, a married mother with whom he had an affair while he was also married.

Ms Miller revealed their secret affair, which happened when he was Minister for Human Services in 2017, in a Four Corners documentary last year.

She alleged he would relentlessly call her if she failed to pick up her phone.

She also complained about a ‘highly sexualised environment’, although she did not make a sexual harassment complaint.

An official investigation by the Department of Finance – the department responsible for ministers’ staff – has found ‘no adverse findings’ against Minister Tudge.

‘While respecting the confidentiality of the process, I can confirm that the independent assessment by law firm Sparke Helmore and the Department of Finance was completed in early June 2021 and there were no adverse findings against Mr Tudge,’ a spokesperson for the minister said. 

A spokesman for the Department of Finance added: ‘The investigations have now been completed. All parties, including Ms Miller, have been advised of the outcome.’ 

The secret affair between Mr Tudge and Ms Miller came before former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull introduced a ‘bonk ban’ in February 2018 to stop politicians from having sexual relationships with staffers in their office.

Ms Miller told the ABC’s Four Corners she has lived ‘to bitterly regret’ the affair with Mr Tudge – with whom she attended the Midwinter Ball at Parliament House.

She claimed while she didn’t want to be seen on camera with the minister, he had insisted on walking into the high-profile event with her by his side.  

‘I intentionally dropped back because I didn’t want to walk in with him,’ she said.   

‘He stopped and turned around and said ‘No, I want you to walk in with me’.  

‘I have a feeling that my appearance had a bearing on why Alan would want to walk in with me on his arm, and I felt at that time a lot like an ornament, and that I was being used as an ornament.’

Ms Miller, who has since left politics, claimed Mr Tudge had pressured her not to reveal the affair to the media after rumours of the tryst circulated around the press gallery.   

‘I lost a lot of self-confidence because I didn’t feel I had any power at all to be able to stand up for myself,’ she said.

‘I knew I was leaving a job that I really loved, but I didn’t see that there was any other way out.

‘You know, I actually at that time viewed myself as damaged goods and I was really worried about this coming out and impacting our chances at the election.’ 

Mr Tudge said he deeply regretted his actions in 2017 after the program aired.

‘Tonight, matters that occurred in my personal life in 2017 were aired on the ABC’s Four Corners program,’ he said.

‘I regret my actions immensely and the hurt it caused my family. I also regret the hurt that Ms Miller has experienced.’  

Ms Miller told a documentary she has lived 'to bitterly regret' the alleged affair with Mr Tudge

Ms Miller told a documentary she has lived ‘to bitterly regret’ the alleged affair with Mr Tudge

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