This post deals with sexual abuse and eating disorders and might be triggering for some readers.
Grace Tame is officially the Australian of the Year 2021. And rightly so.
Her story of sexual abuse at the hands of her maths teacher, battling the legal system to earn her right to share her story and becoming an advocate and voice for so many child abuse survivors makes her a deserved winner.
Watch Grace Tame’s acceptance speech right here. Post continues after video.
But beyond her abuse case, not much is really known about the brilliant woman herself. Focussing on her activism, and keeping things pretty low-key on social media, there's a lot to be learned about the girl kick-starting so many important conversations in this country.
So here are five things you probably don’t know about Grace Tame.
Her iconic case unfortunately wasn’t the first time Grace Tame was sexually assaulted.
Back in 2010, when Grace was just 15 years old, she was hospitalised on account of her battle with anorexia. She explains that her disordered eating was triggered by a resurfaced memory of abuse from when she was much younger.
While this particular abuse was at the hands of an older child, Grace chose to confide in her 58-year-old teacher, Nicolaas Bester, about it all.
“I disclosed to this man that as a six-year-old, I was molested by an older child and that involved being asked to undress in a closet and then molested,” Grace said.
In yet another abuse of power, Nicolaas used this information against Grace.
“He then introduced the actual sexual abuse by recreating that scene that I had described to him of my childhood trauma.”
Nicolaas locked Grace in a cupboard at her Hobart high school where he taught her maths, and sexually molested her for the first time. This abuse would then continue for a whole year.
Grace Tame’s tattoos.
As Grace proudly accepted her Australian Of The Year award, you may have noticed a little tattoo on the back of her hand.