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Former Australian of the Year Grace Tame has given a show of support for Anthony Albanese, suggesting the Labor leader would need to do barely anything to be better than Scott Morrison at tackling parliamentary culture. 

It comes as social media users accused Government MPs of giving a lukewarm reception to Tame’s address to the National Press Club, with photos showing senior Liberals refusing to give her a standing ovation.

During her speech, Tame alleged a powerful government-linked figure had warned her not to try and embarrass the Prime Minister at this year’s Australian of the Year awards. 

Senior Ministers Simon Birmingham, Jane Hume, Anne Ruston and Marise Payne could be all seen remaining in their seats at one point during the address, while others stood up and clapped.    

During a question-and-answer session, Tame was asked what Mr Albanese would do better when it came to Parliament House culture and children from sexual assault.    

Grace Tame gestures towards Labor leader Anthony Albanese after she addressed the media at the National Press Club alongside Brittany Higgins

Grace Tame gestures towards Labor leader Anthony Albanese after she addressed the media at the National Press Club alongside Brittany Higgins

Grace Tame gestures towards Labor leader Anthony Albanese after she addressed the media at the National Press Club alongside Brittany Higgins

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese was among a number of high-profile Australians to attend the address by Ms Tame and Ms Higgins

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese was among a number of high-profile Australians to attend the address by Ms Tame and Ms Higgins

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese was among a number of high-profile Australians to attend the address by Ms Tame and Ms Higgins

‘All Anthony would have to do is none of the things that Scott’s done,’ she said, referring to the Opposition leader and the Prime Minister by their first names. 

Ms Tame then gestured towards Mr Albanese sitting in the audience as if presenting him to the public.

‘I don’t know how to follow that up,’ co-speaker Brittany Higgins commented.

‘Ultimately it comes down to the Australian people to look at the track records and see what they feel most comfortable with,’ Ms Higgins answered. 

Ms Tame has been featured in a number of smiling selfies with the Opposition leader, in sharp contrast to her now famous ‘side-eye’ appearance with Mr Morrison at The Lodge before Australia Day.   

Liberal MPs including Jane Hume, Marise Payne (bottom left), Anne Ruston (middle) and Simon Birmingham (right) remain seated as Grace Tame is given a standing ovation at the National Press Club

Liberal MPs including Jane Hume, Marise Payne (bottom left), Anne Ruston (middle) and Simon Birmingham (right) remain seated as Grace Tame is given a standing ovation at the National Press Club

Liberal MPs including Jane Hume, Marise Payne (bottom left), Anne Ruston (middle) and Simon Birmingham (right) remain seated as Grace Tame is given a standing ovation at the National Press Club

Grace Tame pictured with Anthony Albanese in a picture from the Opposition leader's Twitter account

Grace Tame pictured with Anthony Albanese in a picture from the Opposition leader's Twitter account

Grace Tame pictured with Anthony Albanese in a picture from the Opposition leader’s Twitter account  

Mr Albanese and TV presenter Lisa Wilkinson were among the high-profile Australians in attendance as the child sex abuse survivor and ex-Liberal staffer spoke at the National Press Club.

Former Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, who resigned from the company in 2020 after revealing she had given four executives Cartier watches worth $20,000 as a reward, also turned out for the landmark speeches. 

Afterwards Senator Hume tweeted Ms Tame and Ms Higgins were ‘two powerful advocates for change’.

‘Today I listened to two powerful advocates for change at the National Press Club, emphasising many points on which I and the Government sit in firm agreement,’ she posted. 

‘Gendered violence is unacceptable, too common, and must be stopped. 

‘Sexual violence, regardless of gender, is too common and must be stopped. Institutions, culture, media, Parliament, all of us — as Australians, Parliamentarians, you reading this — can and must do better.’  

Ms Tame's now famous appearance at The Lodge before Australia Day when she bristled at having to greet the prime minister

Ms Tame's now famous appearance at The Lodge before Australia Day when she bristled at having to greet the prime minister

Ms Tame’s now famous appearance at The Lodge before Australia Day when she bristled at having to greet the prime minister

Audible shouts of ‘shame’ could be heard as Ms Tame made the bombshell claim 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.

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”…’

‘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.’

Ms Tame also did not hold back in criticising Mr Morrison’s government for what she said was inaction on violence directed at women.  

‘The federal government’s approach to social issues seems to consist of nothing but empty announcements, placatory platitudes, superficial last-minute acknowledgments and carefully staged photo ops,’ she said.

‘Facades and false hope. Reviews, reports, delays and distractions, if not downright denials. All deliberate spin tactics designed to satiate the press and the general public.’

Source: DailyMail

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