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2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame – A Story of Survival, Speaking Out and Starting a Revolution

On Wednesday 16th June, Auspire was privileged to host Grace Tame at our Inspiring Australians Breakfast at the State Reception Centre, Kings Park. A room, filled to capacity with Government, Business and Community leaders heard the moving and compelling story of an incredible young woman.

Known for her stubborn optimism and cheeky sense of humour Grace is a driven and passionate individual and she shared her views for the future and how she intends to utilise her platform as 2021 Australian of the Year.

Grace highlighted the need to fix systemic oppression in universities, schools and across our communities. The system needs to be redefined – language influences perception and has a greater importance than most realise. Changing the language imbedded in sexual assault laws can shift the opinions of the wider community. Furthermore, this would influence the words used by the media in headlines, encouraging a different perception of those found guilty.

Grace outlined five steps that aided her in her recovery, and that she uses to help build a safer community for survivors:

  • Hope. Trust the infinite possibilities offered by the universe.
  • Action. Driven by the fear of doing nothing.
  • Acceptance. Renewed motivation to thrive. These uncomfortable and ‘taboo’ topics need to be made a part of the National conversation.
  • One step at a time. Providing grounding; compartmentalise into small, achievable steps. This provides the opportunity to change direction if we need to.
  • Communication. An opportunity for connection. Grace has received a tsunami of support since speaking out. Conversations may be confronting or difficult, but they are critical.

Focussing on core barriers which need to be addressed nationally Grace is using her voice to influence legal reforms and improvement of education. There are inconsistencies in terminology and laws for sexual assault and consent across Australia and Grace is committed to the introduction of National and uniform definitions which are essential for change. Perpetrators build strength from confusion, and education has never been more needed. A topic being ‘taboo’ or ‘uncomfortable’ to discuss in schools is a terrible excuse for denying students education in matters regarding personal safety and sexual health.

This movement that Grace Tame is encouraging is giving people the opportunity to have their voices heard. On average, it takes 23.9 years for victims of sexual assault to feel ready to share their stories. Grace made it clear that victims should feel no shame in sharing what has happened to them – shame belongs with the abusers.

Special guests included Kim Beazley AC, The Governor of Western Australia as Auspire Patron, the CEO from the National Australia Day Council, Karlie Brand, Auspire Chairman – Bradley Woods and other members of the Auspire board and a special video message from the Hon. Ben Morton MP, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister.

Nominations are now open for the 2022 Australian of the Year Awards. Visit australianoftheyear.org.au/nominate/

This event was proudly supported by Chevron Australia as the National Diversity & Inclusion Partner of the Australian of the Year Awards and Event Supporters: Business Events Perth, Department of Communities, Rio Tinto and Women in Media.

 

 

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