The woman charged with posing as a doctor so she could allegedly issue more than 600 fake Covid exemption certificates has appeared in a Gold Coast court.
Maria Pau, also known as Maria Power, is alleged to have issued the exemptions from a premises in Labrador on the Gold Coast, with the certificates stating a person is exempt from undergoing Covid testing, receiving a vaccine and wearing a mask.
She arrived at court on Thursday dressed all in black and wearing significantly less makeup than she does in her social media pictures, ignoring questions from a large continent of reporters.
Ms Pau seemed taken aback by the size of the media presence. Maskless, she took one from her bag and put it on when security at Southport Courthouse asked her to do so on entry.
Maria Pau arrives at Southport Court on Thursday without a mask. She was described by police at earlier press conference as ‘anti-Covid’
A large media contingent pursued Ms Pau as she left the court. She is due back in court on November 18
Inside Court 1, Ms Pau’s matter was quickly adjourned until November 18 after a request from her solicitor Ali Rana of Armstrong Legal and was released on bail.
Ms Pau was chased by the large media pack as she exited the court accompanied by a Salvation Army support person.
Police charge sheets obtained by Daily Mail Australia show Ms Pau faces five charges related to allegedly posing as a health practitioner on August 6 and August 25.
She believed she had the authority to hand out medical documents, police claim.
Ms Pau, 45, from Darling Heights, near Toowoomba, was arrested at an address on Robert St, Labrador on October 13.
Police allege she charged $150 per certificate to clientele located across Australia.
Detective Acting Inspector Damien Powell from Taskforce Sierra Linnet said Ms Pau was arrested after a tip-off from a member of the public.
‘She’s of the belief that she’s entitled to issue those certificates,’ Det Inspector Powell said, alleging Ms Pau was ‘anti-Covid’.
Maria Pau, also known as Maria Power, is alleged to have issued the exemptions from a premises in Labrador on the Gold Coast
Maria Pau, also known as Maria Power, founded a Gold Coast charity, Coaching With Substance, which aims to help people overcome addictions
‘She does not hold a medical doctorate degree. And as I indicated earlier, she’s not registered with AHPRA (the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency), nor is she registered with Medicare,’ police alleged.
Ms Pau has since disabled many of her social media accounts but previously had an extensive online presence.
She had founded a charity, Coaching With Substance, which aims to help people overcome addictions, ‘improve their life skills and reclaim a sense of self-worth’.
She said her charity is ‘multi-award winning’ and that she is an international best-selling author who has written over 150 articles and academic texts regarding wellness and recovery from addiction.
One of her e-books, Kill Your Addiction Before It Kills You: How I Transformed My Life of Addictions, Bipolar and Suicide, sells for $19 on the Coaching with Substance website.
The book, the blurb says, tells the story of how Ms Pau travelled on a plane alone at 11 years of age to come to Australia.
‘Started drinking at 13 and began smoking crystal meth at 15 years old. By 18 she was selling her body for a living and spent her 20s modelling, dabbling with marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD, partying with socialites, fashionistas, politicians, celebrities and going out with Yakuza, Triad and 5T gangster boyfriends.’
The 45-year-old has an extensive social media presence in which she claims her charity is ‘multi-award winning’
Originally from Makati in the Philippines, Ms Pau discusses her own 20-year battle with ‘poly-drug use’
Originally from Makati in the Philippines, Ms Pau discusses her own 20-year battle with ‘poly-drug use’, including a ‘history of many psychiatric institutionalisations in four countries’.
‘Somehow I found myself all alone as a fashion model in Asia at 17 years old, with no chaperone and no guidance from any parent figure.
‘I look back now and realise that it was a sure-fire recipe for attracting the wrong people of the world.’
In one YouTube video publicising her book, Kill Your Addiction, she recounts spending a year of ‘absolute recovery’ in 2013 after her father died the previous year.
‘I was detoxing from all of the toxicity I heaped upon my life, like coke addiction, meth addiction, toxic men, domestic violence, in and out of psychiatric wards, all of that I’ve documented so that you can see how you too can transform a life that is rampant with addiction issues,’ she said.
Ms Pau is a doctor, just not a medical doctor. She graduated as a Doctor of Professional Research (Addiction) at the University of Southern Queensland in August
Ms Pau is a doctor, just not a medical doctor. She graduated as a Doctor of Professional Research (Addiction) at the University of Southern Queensland in August.
In an online bio, Ms Pau’s doctorate was on ‘measuring the effect of coaching in subjects with substance use issues using the mind-body-spirit framework coined “Collaborative Peer Recovery Coaching”‘.
A number of her social posts reveal Ms Pau’s attitude throughout the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent public health restrictions.
On August 11, 2020 she posted: ‘TIME TO WAKE THE F UP!!!!!’
‘ARE WE REALLY STILL penalising those without FACE MASKS OR giving energy to A VIRUS with a less than two per cent death rate. I’m so confused as to how the COVID can still be the number one talked about subject when it is now COMMON PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE that our ENTIRE WORLD is being systematically controlled by a Global Elite PEDOPHILE RING.
‘Half of our country is being blindly distracted by a BULLS**T Virus and the other half is being SILENCED.’
The post was signed off as ‘Coach M Power’.
In a post to Facebook and Instagram on August 10, Ms Pau asked ‘Is your employment at risk?’ alongside a photo of the Public Health Amendment (Vaccination Compensation) Bill 2021 (NSW).
She then provided a number of points people should raise in a formal letter or in ‘disciplinary’ meetings with their employer.
The points repeated well known talking points of the anti-vaccination movement regarding the safety and effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines.
‘The [vaccine] has not been properly safety tested. Not enough testing has been done on people with comorbidities, pregnant women or the elderly and yet it being [jabbed] into them with disastrous consequences,’ she posted.
In July, social media videos show Ms Pau wearing a t-shirt carrying the slogan, The Great Awakening, while marching in a Brisbane ‘freedom rally’.
A number of her social posts reveal Ms Pau’s attitude throughout the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent public health restrictions
On the givenow.com.au crowdfunding platform, Ms Pau’s charity sought total donations of $200,000 for an 8-week ‘Breakthrough Recovery Incubator’ to help people recover from a variety of addictions. The site showed $69,900 had been raised to date.
‘The participants will be invited to apply to this 8-week breakthrough incubator program, once our fundraising goals of $75,000 are met for the first group of 30 people (it is $2,500 scholarship fund for each person to participate),’ the fundraiser states.
In a Facebook post from May 2020, Ms Pau reveals the thoughts involved in her morning meditation about ‘owning my right to prosperity and abundance’.
‘Large Sums Of Money (I want large sums to come into my experience).
‘Come To Me (Yes it comes to me).
‘Easily And Quickly (You don’t want it to be hard and you don’t want to wait forever).’
Penalties for offences of this nature included a fine of up to $10,000 and potential imprisonment.