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Grace Tame has claimed she received a ‘threatening’ phone call from a senior member of a government-funded organisation warning her not to say anything ‘damning’ about Scott Morrison. 

Speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday, Ms Tame said she got the call ahead of this year’s Australian Of The Year awards.

The 27-year-old children’s safety campaigner said the call reminded her of threats from the 58-year-old maths teacher who raped her when she was 15.

‘I received a threatening phone call from a senior member of a government funded organisation, asking for my word that I would not say anything damning about the Prime Minister on the evening of the next Australian of the Year Awards,’ she said after warning the audience ‘brace yourselves’.

”You are an influential person. He will have a fear,” they said. The fear? What kind of fear – I asked myself. 

‘A fear for our nation’s most vulnerable? A fear for the future of our plan? And then I heard the words ”with an election coming soon”…’ 

Grace Tame has claimed she received a 'threatening' phone call from a senior member of a government-funded organisation warning her not to say anything 'damning' about Scott Morrison

Grace Tame has claimed she received a 'threatening' phone call from a senior member of a government-funded organisation warning her not to say anything 'damning' about Scott Morrison

Grace Tame has claimed she received a ‘threatening’ phone call from a senior member of a government-funded organisation warning her not to say anything ‘damning’ about Scott Morrison

Australian of the Year Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins ahead of their speeches

Australian of the Year Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins ahead of their speeches

Australian of the Year Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins ahead of their speeches

‘And it crystallised a fear for himself and no-one else, a fear he might lose his position or, more to the point, his power. 

‘Sound familiar to anyone? Well, it does to me. I remember standing in the shadow of a trusted authority figure, being threatened in just the same veiled way. 

‘I remember him saying, “I will lose my job if anyone hears about that, and you would not want that, would you? No.” What I wanted in that moment he is at the same thing I want right now, and that is an end to the darkness, an end to sexual violence, safety, equity, respect, a better future for all of us.’ 

Ms Tame appeared with a cast on after injuring her arm in a bike crash. 

The campaigner has been relentlessly critical of the Morrison government and hit headlines last month when she refused to smile for photos alongside the PM outside his Canberra residence. 

Ms Tame’s speech was preceded by an address from former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins – who alleges she was raped in Parliament.

She blasted the Prime Minister for what she called ‘national inaction’ on women’s safety. 

‘Some of his language last year was shocking and, at times, admittedly, a bit offensive,’ she said in a scathing speech at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

Mr Morrison caused outrage last year when he said that Jenny helped him ‘clarify’ the importance of women’s safety by asking him ‘what would you want to happen if it were our girls?’

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins (pictured) - who alleges she was raped in Parliament - has blasted the Prime Minister for what she called 'national inaction' on women's safety

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins (pictured) - who alleges she was raped in Parliament - has blasted the Prime Minister for what she called 'national inaction' on women's safety

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins (pictured) – who alleges she was raped in Parliament – has blasted the Prime Minister for what she called ‘national inaction’ on women’s safety

‘His words wouldn’t matter if his actions had measured up. Then, or since,’ Ms Higgins said.

‘What bothered me most about the whole ”imagine if it were our daughters” spiel wasn’t that he necessarily needed his wife’s advice to help contextualise my rape in a way that mattered to him personally,’ she said.

‘I didn’t want his sympathy as a father. I wanted him to use his power as Prime Minister.’   

On Tuesday Ms Tame blasted Mr Morrison just seconds after he issued an historic apology to female staffers for sexual harassment and bullying in Parliament.

Ms Tame said the apology – which followed a statement of acknowledgement – was a ‘stunt’ to win votes and wouldn’t actually bring about change. 

‘How about some proactive, preventative measures and not just these performative, last-minute bandaid electioneering stunts,’ she wrote on Twitter.

Friends Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame appeared on the front cover (pictured) of Marie Claire magazine together in November

Friends Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame appeared on the front cover (pictured) of Marie Claire magazine together in November

Friends Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame appeared on the front cover (pictured) of Marie Claire magazine together in November

The statement of acknowledgement in Parliament was the first of 28 recommendations of a review into the toxic culture at Parliament House which found that 40 per cent of women and 26 per cent of men were sexually harassed. 

The review was set up after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins in March alleged she was raped by a colleague in a minister’s office in 2019 and saw 490 women and men come forward with stories of mistreatment.

Ms Higgins watched the statement and subsequent apologies by party leaders in Parliament but left the chamber in tears. 

‘I am sorry. We are sorry. I am sorry to Miss Higgins for the terrible things that took place here,’ Mr Morrison said. 

‘It is clear that practical and cultural changes are necessary to make a parliamentary workplaces safer. This acknowledgement is a marker, yet another step, a moment of change.’  

Ms Higgins watched the statement in parliament and was described as 'visibly upset'

Ms Higgins watched the statement in parliament and was described as 'visibly upset'

Ms Higgins watched the statement in parliament and was described as ‘visibly upset’

Former Liberal staffer Rachelle Miller said a ‘statement of acknowledgement’ felt disingenuous.

‘I think that a lot of the words that have come from the government have been words but we’re not seeing a lot of it backed up in action,’ she told ABC Radio ahead of the statement.

‘I want to hear an acknowledgement that people suffered really terrible consequences of their employment in Parliament House.’

Ms Miller made allegations former Education Minister Alan Tudge was emotionally and physically abusive towards her during an extramarital affair – allegations the MP has denied.  

Young women are seen as ‘fresh meat’, people cry in the toilets and ONE THIRD of all staff sexually harassed: Damning report lays bare the shocking reality of working at Parliament House 

Young women in parliament are treated like ‘fresh meat’, people often cry in the toilets and one third of workers in the building are sexually harassed, according to a damning report.

Some 37 per cent of parliament workers have been bullied and 77 per cent have heard about cases of bullying and harassment, the report by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins found.  

The report contained damning anecdotes from anonymous participants, one of whom said it was the ‘most sexist’ place they had ever worked in. 

Scott Morrison announces the release of the 400-page report into harassment in Parliament House

Scott Morrison announces the release of the 400-page report into harassment in Parliament House

Scott Morrison announces the release of the 400-page report into harassment in Parliament House

One in four parliament workers who experienced sexual harassment said they were harassed by a politician. Pictured: Parliament House in Canberra

One in four parliament workers who experienced sexual harassment said they were harassed by a politician. Pictured: Parliament House in Canberra

One in four parliament workers who experienced sexual harassment said they were harassed by a politician. Pictured: Parliament House in Canberra

Key stats in the report 

40 per cent of women and 26 per cent of men were sexually harassed 

42 per cent of women and 32 per cent of men were bullied

26 per cent who experienced sexual harassment said they were harassed by a politician

Only 11 per cent of people who experienced sexual harassment reported it

61 per cent of bullies were women while 81 per cent of sexual harassers were men

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‘I guess there is a workplace culture of drinking. There’s not a lot of accountability. The boys are lads. And that behaviour is celebrated and… they do treat women, our female staffers and female admin staff, quite differently,’ the interviewee said. 

‘Young women, particularly media advisers coming in, particularly the younger women coming in, were like fresh meat and challenges.’

The report found 40 per cent of women and 26 per cent of men were sexually harassed while 42 per cent of women and 32 per cent of men were bullied.

A total of 61 per cent of bullies were women while 81 per cent of sexual harassers were men. 

One in four people who experienced sexual harassment said they were harassed by a politician and only 11 per cent of people who experienced sexual harassment reported it. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was shocked by the statistics but not surprised.

‘Like anyone who works in this building, I find the statistics that are presented there, of course appalling and disturbing. I wish I found them more surprising. But I find them just as appalling,’ he said. 

Ms Jenkins said she was not surprised by the stats because one in three Australian workers around the country suffer sexual harassment. 

The report was commissioned nine months ago after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, 26, alleged she was raped in Parliament House after a night out in 2019. 

Ms Jenkins made 28 recommendations including a 10-year plan to have the same number of male and female politicians and a clearer alcohol policy with set times when drinking is acceptable. 

The report was commissioned after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins (pictured), 26, alleged she was raped in Parliament House after a night out in 2019

The report was commissioned after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins (pictured), 26, alleged she was raped in Parliament House after a night out in 2019

The report was commissioned after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins (pictured), 26, alleged she was raped in Parliament House after a night out in 2019

Source: Daily Mail

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