australianoftheyear.org.au, Salty Dingo
Culture

Grace Tame, Australian of the Year

First Tasmanian AotY in 61 years

For the first time in the Award program’s 61 year history, a Tasmanian has been named Australian of the Year. Grace is an outspoken advocate for survivors of sexual assault, particularly those who were abused in institutional settings.

From age 15, Grace was groomed and assaulted by her 58 year old maths teacher, who was found guilty and jailed for his crimes. However, under Tasmania’s sexual assault victim gag laws, Grace couldn’t legally speak out about her experience, despite the perpetrator and media being free to do so. Grace applied to the Supreme Court for the right to publicly self-identify as a rape survivor and won. Grace has demonstrated extraordinary courage, using her voice to push for legal reform and raise public awareness about the impacts of sexual violence.

She is a regular guest speaker for high-profile events and television programs and uses her media profile to advocate for other vulnerable groups in the community. The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced the Australian of the Year Award recipients, at a ceremony at the National Arboretum in Canberra this evening.

“Grace, Miriam-Rose, Isobel and Rosemary are all committed to changing attitudes in our society and changing lives, they are strong, determined women who are dedicated to breaking down barriers and advocating for people’s rights – particularly the rights of women and children. They epitomise the Australian values of respect, tolerance, equality of opportunity and compassion. Because of them, others get a fair go.”
– Danielle Roche OAM, Chair of the National Australia Day Council

Grace Tame, Isobel Marshall, Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM and Rosemary Kariuki will attend the National Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony in Canberra on Australia Day morning, Tuesday 26 January 2021 before returning to their home states.

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A Taiwan born writer living her best life in South-East Queensland, Australia. Covering the topics for the little voices of the country.