Grace Tame: Australian of the Year’s shocked response on live TV at child sex abuse strategy snub


Australian of the Year Grace Tame seethes as she finds out on live TV she wasn’t asked to help draft a child sexual abuse prevention strategy

  • The National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse is due for release
  • Australian of the Year, sexual abuse survivor Grace Tame not invited to help on it
  •  She appeared shocked when was asked on live TV if she had been involved in it


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Australian of the Year Grace Tame found out live on national television that she had been snubbed over a key government plan to combat child sexual abuse.

Ms Tame, a high profile sexual abuse survivor, smiled awkwardly – but visibly seethed – as she was asked on ABC News 24 what the government’s National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse would include.

‘No, I haven’t been [involved],’ a shocked Ms Tame said, shaking her head, and staring off screen. ‘I haven’t been involved in the drafting of that.’

‘But I assume you would like to have been?’ the ABC interviewer asked her. 

Australian of the Year Grace Tame smiled awkwardly – but visibly seethed – while speaking about the matter

‘Sure. I mean that’s my job and I’ve been banking on about that all year, that we should be focusing on prevention.’

Ms Tame raised her hands in a ‘surrender’ motion and added ‘I’m not going to be malcontented and complain that I haven’t been invited to participate in that.’

‘But they’re making progress, that’s great. That’s great,’ she added. 

Since being made Australian of the Year in July, Ms Tame, who was raped by her school teacher as a teen, has been a fierce activist for fellow sexual assault survivors. 

She has at times been a harsh critic of the government inaction on the issue.

In May she also accused accused Scott Morrison of making a crass comment in her ear after her Australian of the Year acceptance speech.

Grace Tame was made Australian of the Year in January 2021

Sexual abuse survivor Grace Tame has called out Scott Morrison since being made Australian of the Year

The 26-year-old won the award in January for raising awareness about the impact of sexual violence.

In her emotional speech at the National Arboretum in Canberra, Ms Tame spoke about the abuse she suffered and urged survivors to share their stories.  She later teed off about what Mr Morrison told her afterwards. 

‘Do you know what he said to me, right after I finished that speech and we’re in front of a wall of media? 

‘I sh** you not, he leant over and right in my ear he goes ”Well, gee, I bet it felt good to get that out”,’ she said. 

The National Office for Child Safety (NOCS), which is responsible for producing the strategy reports to Scott Morrison, said the strategy ‘was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission and will focus on preventing child sexual abuse in all settings including in institutions, within families, and online.’

It will be published on the Prime Minister’s website next week. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office indicated that Ms Tame may have had the chance to be involved in the strategy in May.

 ‘On behalf of NOCS, The Healing Foundation invitation issued to a workshop for victim-survivors and their advocates relating to the final development of the National Strategy. A follow up was sent on 3 June,’ the statement said.

The Healing Foundation supports Stolen Generations survivors and their families.

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