Australian of the Year Grace Tame has fired upon Q+A, stunning the panel with a pointed question directed at Scott Morrison. Australian of the Year Grace Tame has delivered a critical question to Prime Minister Scott Morrison during an influential appearance on Q+A.
The panel – which also included Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong, Professor of Australian Indigenous Studies Marcia Langton, and Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police Reece Kershaw – primarily focused on women’s and children’s safety, and Ms. Tame kicked off her discussion by calling out her treatment by police after reporting her own rape and sexual abuse.
“My own experience when I reported the pedophile to police 11 years ago, I had to make a statement in a room to a man,” she said. “And there was clearly a lack of trauma information in his training because there are a lot of instances of rape that I had to describe in my experience, and every time that I said, ‘And he raped me, I had to qualify that, and I had to stop, and he would ask me, ‘So do you mean he put his penis in your vagina?’ And I’d have to say it every time.
“I was constantly being interrupted. And as well, just throughout the process beyond that, beyond dealing with the police, it was an experience of feeling like the symmetries of power mimicked the experience I had in the actual trauma itself.” However, the discussion took a fiery turn following a question from a viewer about the Gaetjens inquiry into who in the Prime Minister’s Office knew about Brittany Higgins’ allegations of rape, which has been suspended.
The viewer asked whether an upcoming women’s summit was “yet again another spin-based delay tactic by our Prime Minister”. Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston stepped in, claiming that the government was “absolutely serious about making sure that this national safety summit can bring together the culmination of all the consultation around getting the information for the next national plan because as a government, I can absolutely commit that we are serious about changing the dial”.
But that didn’t seem to sit well with Ms. Tame, who hit back with a pointed question directed at the Prime Minister. “I just have a question. How can this government seriously claim to care about women’s safety and children’s safety when it won’t even be accountable for and swiftly and directly address the issue of sexism within its own ranks?”
Senator Wong also weighed in, saying she believed the stalling of the Gaetjens inquiry “goes to the Prime Minister’s sincerity”. “Instead of the government fronting up and trying to deal with this issue honestly and openly, we had a flurry of inquiries, including one, which avoided Mr. Morrison having to ask his own staff what they knew,” she said.
“And I do not think that meets the sorts of standards that … the Australian people want.” Mr. Kershaw also gave a policed perspective on the issue. “We were very concerned to make sure that the police investigation, there was no problematic intersection or attempt to interfere. And we were able to compile that brief of evidence,” he said.
“It now goes into a prosecution phase which is the director of DPP in the ACT. And that’s on him and his advice. So we’re able to complete that investigation in the way that we wanted to be able to do.” Read related topics: Scott Morrison