Angelina Sondakh was born in New South Wales and went to high school there, but she went on to be crowned Miss Indonesia and pursue a political career that included being deputy secretary general of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's ruling Democratic Party.
Now she has been jailed for four-and-a-half years for taking $1.5 million in kickbacks from universities in exchange for government funding.
The case has been dubbed "Verdict for a princess" in the Indonesian media.
Sondakh is idolised in Indonesia, and instead of being taken straight to prison after the verdict she was allowed to pose for photos, hold a tearful media conference, and conduct live interviews with TV stations.
"Of course it's breaking my dad's heart. No father wants to see their daughter in jail," she said.
"Since I was a kid my dad always took me to school, going with a motor bike and when my dad sent me to study in Australia he kept on visiting me.
"Now in this kind of situation, he has to visit me in jail. It's really hard for him also."
Sondakh refused to admit her guilt, and also refused to implicate others.
Sondakh is the second member of the Indonesian government to be jailed for corruption, and the Corruption Eradication Commission says it has others in its sights.
It has summoned a confidante of the president and new graft suspect for questioning this morning.