Grace Tame jailed her abuser 11 years ago. He’s still threatening 'revenge'.

She was a 15-year-old high school student. 

He was her 58-year-old maths teacher - and abuser. 

It was 2010. And over a six-month period, Year 10 student, Grace Tame was repeatedly raped by Nicolaas Bester, a teacher at Hobart's St Michael's Collegiate School.

At school. At his friend's place. At a hotel. 

In 2011, she spoke out about the abuse, confiding in another teacher. 

And Tame has fought tirelessly ever since.

To bring Bester to justice. 

To have a voice; becoming the first Tasmanian woman to be granted special permission from the Supreme Court of Tasmania to speak publicly as a rape survivor.

And to ensure other sexual assault survivors can reclaim their voice too; campaigning for reform to the Tasmanian law that prohibited survivors from telling their story to the media under their real name.

Meanwhile, Bester was sentenced to two years and three months in prison (of which he served one year and nine months) for his abuse of Tame and possession of child exploitation material.

Tame's courage and advocacy ignited a movement. A passionate powerhouse, she launched the Grace Tame Foundation and was celebrated as the 2021 Australian of the Year. 

But yesterday, she spoke on the lingering shadow of Bester and the "open threats and harassment" her abuser still poses towards her.


Tame posted three screenshots from Bester's Twitter account - as recently as August 28 - where he shared a private e-mail address belonging to Tame. 

"Here it comes! Only 4 weeks to go!! The gold old come-uppance on its way..... [e-mail address]...," Bester tweeted in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Image: Twitter/@TamePunk. 


On April 27, Bester posted: 

"Great News! Twitter at last been crunched o [sic] be liberated by Elon Musk. At last I shall come for [e-mail address] .......... in good time....."

Image: Twitter/@TamePunk. 


Tame addressed the screenshots in a series of comments, writing, "Here he is, the twice-convicted child sex offender, referring to my childhood e-mail, which very few people know, in place of my name. It was the login to my old Facebook he and I communicated on."

"He's counting down to an act of revenge, planned for the day of my book's release."

Tame's book, The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner: A memoir, is slated for release on September 27.

Image: Twitter/@TamePunk. 


"This has been the reality for 12 years now, behind closed doors for my family and me," Tame wrote.

In 2015, Bester gloated about his crimes on Facebook, writing, "The majority of men in Australia envy me. I was 50. She was 15 going on 25 ... It was awesome." He was sentenced to a further four months in prison. 

Yet, in a 2017 interview with commentator and sex therapist Bettina Arndt broadcast to YouTube, Bester still saw himself as the victim, bemoaning, "I lost my job, I lost my status in the community. I lost absolutely everything. It was a devastating time".

On Bester's most recent Twitter comments, Tame wrote, "These threats clearly constitute a federal offence and contravene Twitter’s child exploitation policy, which states that it is prohibited to contribute to the re-victimisation and re-traumatisation of a child sexual abuse survivor."


Twitter has now suspended Bester's account.

Tame also charged the justice system as "reactive" and "too slow".

"This is targeted harassment of a known victim of his past crimes, designed to cause further harm. I’ve reported them to police, but our reactive justice system is too slow, and nothing’s changed. I know this is an experience many others would be able to relate to," she tweeted.

"This might not be the ideal platform to address this situation, but if not here, and if not now, then I ask, where and when?"

"This is an act of reclaiming my power against a predator operating in plain sight."

Tame took to Twitter again this afternoon thanking supporters who have rallied behind her, and reiterating the imperative need for justice reform. 


"I see survivors fobbed off, disenchanted and confused," she tweeted, revealing that she now filed two police reports since April.

Tame said that at that time of the first report, Tasmanian Police told her to source the IP address. 

"If it weren’t for the fact that I work in the sector and advocate myself, I might have given up then," Tame wrote.

She has vowed to keep fighting for change, to keep making noise. 

But should the onus for progress - and the emotional, mental and physical toll that comes with it - fall on the weary shoulders of those most traumatised?

Because there are elected officials and a judicial system who are charged with this work.

Now it is imperative they actually do it. 

Keen to read more from Rebecca Davis? You can find her articles here, or follow her on Instagram.

Feature Image: AAP/Mamamia.

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