Australian of the Year Grace Tame has criticised Prime Minister Scott Morrison for promoting Senator Amanda Stoker to a new role as Assistant Minister for Women.
In an Instagram post, Tame said Stoker endorsed a “fake rape crisis” tour on university campuses, damaging and undermining survivors of sexual assault.
“The new Assistant Minister for Women is someone who previously endorsed a “fake rape crisis” tour, aimed at falsifying instances of sexual abuse on school and university campuses across Australia,” Tame wrote.
“It goes without saying that this came at an immeasurable cost to already traumatised student survivors.”
Tame also said Stoker supported the Australia Day honour of Bettina Arndt last year, after Arndt had given “a platform to the convicted pedophile who abused me”.
“A woman who laughed with the paedophile while they discussed and defended crimes against children,’’ Tame added, referring to Arndt.
Some have criticised Stoker’s appointment as Assistant Minister for Women due her strong pro-life stance and views on transgender issues. Her website currently points to a petition titled “Stand up to the transgender agenda”.
“The new Assistant Minister has controversial opinions, to which she is entitled. Having opinions is not the issue here. The issue is allowing opinions to become institution by awarding them power. This is how destructive systemic cultures are both born and reinforced,” Tame wrote on Instagram.
In light of Morrison’s cabinet reshuffle, Tame also indicated we must be careful “not to be naively mislead by superficial distractions posed as solutions.”
“In light of these facts, either the Prime Minister is ignorant of the cultural issues at hand, or he understands them completely, and is making calculated moves to perpetuate them,’’ Tame wrote.
“If the latter is true, then what we are seeing is further abuse of power, masterfully disguised as progress – the very same psychological manipulation at the heart of these recently exposed evils.”
In a discussion with Kerry O’Brien at a Griffith University event on Tuesday, Tame said at a morning tea at this year’s Australia Day Awards, she talked to Scott Morrison about the need for a national taskforce to address issues like sexual assault. She said Morrison “dismissively” rejected the need for one.
“I spoke directly of the need for a national task force, a permanent task force to deal with issues pertaining to sexual assault and he dismissively insisted that such infrastructure already exists and is functioning quite well,” she said.
If you or someone you know is impacted by family and domestic violence or sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.