Courageous Conversations: An evening with Grace Tame and guests

Grace Tame and an esteemed panel discuss open, respectful dialogues around consent, sexual harassment and sexual assault.

This event was held on 2 February 2024, presented by Student Life team with Safer Communities and Sydney Ideas, as part of Extended Welcome at the University of Sydney. Please note: this event was not recorded. 


Karen is the CEO of Full Stop Australia, a national organisation dedicated to putting a full stop to sexual, domestic and family violence.

Full Stop Australia is celebrating its 50-year anniversary since being funded to run the Sydney Rape Crisis Centre in 1974. The organisation now provides 1800 FULLSTOP a national helpline for people impacts by domestic, family and sexual violence, operates the NSW sexual Violence helpline, a national helpline for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and our Rainbow line for LGBTQ+ communities.

Full Stop has always been a strong advocate for law reform and policy development to end gender-based violence and continues to lobby governments and build support for social change. Full Stop operates training and consulting to support businesses, government, NFPs and educational institutions to respond to sexual harassment, support employees impacted by gendered violence and create trauma informed and supportive workplaces.

Karen is a passionate advocate for social justice, with =more than 30 years’ experience working across not-for-profit organisations, government and research institutions in executive leadership, strategy, advocacy, research, training, service delivery and community development.

Karen is currently the Chair of Mary’s House Services, a philanthropically funded domestic violence service in Sydney. She is a past president of the NSW Council of Social Services and previously sat of the boards of Youth Law Australia, the Intellectual Disability Rights Service and the Australian Council of Social Service.

Sharon Chung is the Manager of the Safer Communities Office at the University of Sydney. This team provides case management support for anyone impacted by sexual violence at the University as well as delivers preventative education to students and staff. The team also provides advice to a variety of areas within the University around provision of specialist support to students and staff.

Sharon is a counsellor who has had more than 10 years’ experience working across a variety of organisations including 1800Respect, Beyondblue and a Women’s refuge in areas of leadership, clinical governance, learning and development, operations and strategy.

Since joining the University in 2017, Sharon has been pivotal in leading several key initiatives such as creating a support pathway for historical survivors of sexual abuse, strengthening the partnership with the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sexual Assault Counselling service for provision of priority counselling for students and designing in person consent workshops for our students.

Anna Coutts-Trotter (she/her) is a survivor-advocate based on Gadigal Land. Anna experienced domestic and sexual violence as a young person. With this lived experience, the 23-year-old co-founded The Survivor Hub (TSH) - a charity that provides holistic peer support to survivors of sexual assault through MeetUps. MeetUps are located across New South Wales, Victoria and online. They’re safe spaces for survivors to connect, vent, and share expertise.

Anna experienced an isolating court process and so was inspired to create TSH to empower connection between survivors. Through TSH and her other avenues of advocacy, Anna aims to support survivors in their healing and recovery process through a safe, survivor-led environment.

Anna is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and Social Work at the University of Sydney. She also works in disability support, with young people and in aged care. Anna has recently completed her first placement in Broken Hill and will return in April.

She was recognised for her work with TSH in 2023, being named Westfield Eastgardens Local Hero. She is an ambassador for National Survivors Day and has worked with Full Stop Australia, Bumble, NSW Government and others.

After being groomed and raped by her maths teacher when she was just 15 years old, Grace Tame has turned her traumatic experience into advocacy for survivors of child sexual abuse and has been a leader of positive change for over a decade.

Recognising the injustice of Tasmania’s gag order that prevented survivors from self-identifying publicly, Grace offered her story to the #LetHerSpeak campaign created by Nina Funnell, along with the stories of 16 other brave survivors. In 2019, she finally won a court order to speak our under her own name, making her the state’s first female child sexual abuse survivor to do so.

Now, Grace is dedicated to eradicating child sexual abuse in Australia, and supporting the survivors of child sexual abuse and is the CEO of The Grace Tame Foundation.

Her focus is around enabling survivors to tell their stories without shame, educating the public around the process and lasting effects of grooming and working with policy and decision-makers to ensure we have state, territory and federal legal systems that support survivors, not just perpetrators.

She is also a passionate yoga teacher, visual artist, and champion long-distance runner, having won the 2020 Ross Marathon in 2:59:31. She was diagnosed as autistic at age 20, and talks candidly about how this affects her life and work.

On 27 September 2022, she released her number 1 best-selling memoir The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner, which was nominated for three Australian Book Industry Awards, including New Writer of the Year and Biography Book of the Year. She is a columnist for The Shot and co-hosts their weekly podcast with The Chaser's Charles Firth, Jo Dyer, and Dave Milner.

An open book about her experience, but even more passionate about preventing this from happening to other children, Grace speaks from the heart and will have her audience simultaneously inspired and in tears.

She is a regular keynote speaker, media guest and advocacy commentator.

Grace is the 2021 Australian of the Year.