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Be inspired by Grace Tame – advocate, activist, survivor, with a powerful story to share

Be inspired by Grace Tame – advocate, activist, survivor, with a powerful story to share.

A ‘happy little Vegemite’ in childhood, with a glass half-full outlook and a cheeky sense of humour, Grace Tame grew up feeling secure in the world and unafraid of failing because she was always surrounded by love. 

“My dreams were as boundless as my energy and enthusiasm,” she says. 

Strong in spirit, Grace’s journey is an inspiration. She survived the trauma of being sexually abused by her teacher at the age of 15, determined that while her life was shaped by the trauma, it would not be defined by it. In 2021 she was recognised as Australian of the Year for successfully advocating for change to Tasmanian law that give survivors of child sexual abuse the freedom to tell their story publicly, including to the media. 

She has continued to use her voice for social justice, changing the national narrative around grooming, calling out the actions of abusers, and breaking the silence around child sexual assault. “One in six boys in Australia and one in four girls are reported as being affected, but I believe the numbers may be greater because there’s such shame surrounding it that the abuse is not always reported,” Grace explains. “A child is disrupted at their very core when they suffer sexual abuse at a time in their life when they are still integrating their sense of self.” 

Grace’s shares her own lived experience, to inspire others on their recovery journey, in her memoir The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner.

Grace believes education and awareness to be vitally important for supporting survivors to heal, and bringing about societal change. She has challenged mainstream media, who we tend to trust to report unbiased information, on their poor representation of this sensitive issue. In her memoir, Grace tells how, at every turn, her experience was marred by the inaction and lack of understanding of institutions. A school that ignored on-going reports of a teacher’s misconduct, to a media landscape that values clicks more than truth, a legal system that didn’t fully recognise the severity and long-term impacts of grooming on survivors, and lack of adequate government intervention and support.

“Really what needs to happen is for structures to be torn down, and re-built, for things to change for the better,” she says. 

Someone who lives for human connection, Grace says “I firmly believe in owning every part of your story, the good and the bad. Vulnerability and shared experiences bring us closer together. Your truth is your power.” 

Her family of origin connected a lot through humour which has helped to sustain her throughout life’s challenges.

Grace lives with autism which she says can lead to a tendency to take everyone at face value. “While it’s healthy to have different ideas and opinions we do need to have an awareness that not everyone is well intentioned in their actions, words or decisions,” she says.

By speaking out and sharing her story, Grace has risen in recognition as one of 17 survivors in Nina Funnell’s #LetHerSpeak campaign, fierce advocate for other survivors of child sexual abuse, public figure sharing her own lived experience, published writer discussing her memoir at Sydney Writers Festival, and passionate campaigner for policy reform. 

Acknowledging that it can be easy for us to doubt our ability as an individual to make a positive impact, Grace encourages us to simply be willing to have real conversations, helping bring these issues out into the light, and survivors out of isolation.

Join the conversation with Grace Tame by being part of Flourish Australia’s free online webinar in celebration of International Women’s Day, on Wednesday 6 March 2024, from 12noon to 2pm. There will be an opportunity for you to put your questions forward for a Q&A, after Grace shares her story.

Be part of Flourish Australia’s FREE webinar event

Wednesday 6th March 2024

12:00pm-1:30pm 

Register Now 

and put your questions forward for Grace. 

For more information, contact us on 1300 779 270 or make an enquiry now.

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