Q&A

I appeared on my first Q&A this month, hosted by Tony Jones. Topics included cyberbullying, education reform, super trawlers, asylum seekers and people smuggling. I spoke for the first time about my refugee family history and my Opa’s escape from a Nazi work camp.

Guests on the panel were Tony Burke, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, producer, composer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist Nitin Sawney, Deputy Leader of the Nationals in the Senate and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education Fiona Nash, and Australian rock singer and conservative political activist Angry Anderson.

The full program can be viewed online here. I hope you enjoy the show.

Do you have anything to add, or any questions about my comments? I look forward to hearing from you.

 

6 Comments

  1. Jonathan

    I’m a fan of your work and would like to send a paperback copy of one of your novel 2 be signed. What address would I need to write to in order to get this autograph request fulfilled?

  2. Merinda

    Greetings Tara,
    I was intrigued by a replayed segment of your recent ABC television Q & A appearance where you talked about abuse and silence re “Internet Trolls”. So I searched the transcripts of that particular program and read your comments “…I strongly believe, and we see this historically, abuse has never been solved by silence ever and it is really damaging. I think, to tell victims that they need to remain silent or remove themselves from the situation. It’s really blaming them and making them suffer.”
    As a result of reading your comments, I am contacting you, and begging you, as one mother to another, to end the silence on the abuse of Australian women and children overseas. My children and myself and many other Australian mothers and their children have and are experiencing domestic violence and systemic and judicial abuse, discrimination, inadequacies and inequities in foreign countries and jurisdictions and we are denied any and all of the advocacy, support, resources and assistance provided to other Australians in challenging circumstances overseas.
    I am begging you to use whatever opportunities and resources you have available to you to immediately bring these issues and situations into public and political discourse so that we can receive the immediate advocacy, support, assistance, justice, judicial fairness and human rights we need and deserve.
    Many are aware of the traumatic outcomes of attempted and completed suicide for others that have experienced abuse and injustice, yet despite knowing my eldest child has attempted suicide and the trauma all my children and I have experienced because of this abuse and injustice, I cannot find anyone who will speak up publicly about these issues of abuse against innocent and vulnerable Australian children and women.
    For more information please see my blog http://www.womenwhowant2gohome.blogspot.com.au and also http://www.stopstoviolence.com for a link through “Resources” to the audio-visual “How Then Shall We Live: A Process to Develop a Plan to Escape Abusive Relationships” which opens with my eldest child reading from their story about our experience of domestic violence, and in which my words are used by an actress and I was the committee “expert” on issues for immigrant and rural women.
    I will forward your agent Martin W further information and supporting documentation.
    As one mother to another, I am begging you; please end the silence on these abuses and injustices against innocent and vulnerable Australian children and women overseas.
    Take care … take heart … “Merinda”

  3. Marie

    I support Marinda’s plea. As a professional, I am sick to death of receiving calls for help from mothers whose very young children have disclosed sexual abuse by fathers who cannot be prosecuted because the children are too young to be cross examined in the criminal justice system. Yesterday there were three! They turn to the Family Court to seek curtailment of the children’s contact with their abusers, only to find that they are accused of either training the children to report abuse falsely (as if you could train a 3 year old!) and the mothers are then diagnosed by unqualified court advisers as delusional, suffering from a mental illness or “parent alienation”. The women (but not the men) are ordered to have psychiatric assessments. Independent children’s lawyers invariably support the fathers, are anything but independent and don’t even talk to the children they represent and the abusers gain residence of the children. There needs to be a Royal Commission into the activities of the Family Court of Australia right now because we are creating another generation of abused children – courtesy of this court system.

  4. Simone

    I support both Merinda and Marie. The situation is so dire when it comes to the empowering of abusers in this nation. It is not zero tolerance at all, regardless of what nonsense is spoken by those in power. Women and children (predominantly) are suffering immensely from the extreme trauma and heartache of violence and abuse in Australia. They are then routinely disbelieved and punished for attempting be safe! Furthermore the silence that is loud, perpetuates the cycle and the most abhorrent practise of all, to blame the victim, is alive and well in Courts and in society in general. Please Tara, use whatever opportunity you have to speak up on these grave issues of trauma and injustice.

  5. Laurinda Motion

    I also support Merinda’s plea.
    Many Australian women who are currently living in violent and abusive relationships overseas are not afforded the same kind of judicial support that women living in Australia are.
    Financial security is a key enabler for victims of family violence to leave violent relationships yet for many women who are living with abusive partners overseas their financial security and access to legal support is tied to their partners.
    Without assistance from the Australian judicial system these women and their children are placed in a precarious position, which can and has lead to extreme emotional and psychological stress.
    Anything you can do Tara to highlight this issue,particularly in light of the information that Merinda has provided above will make a difference in bringing this issue to the forefront of the conversation of Domestic Violence.

  6. Sheryl

    I am a close friend of Merinda and I implore you to brooch this TABOO topic ….
    As a professional I see and hear so much heart ache that women suffering from domestic violence experience. They feel isolated and trapped, having no where to turn and to make the initial break is extremely difficult with their self esteem being at rock bottom. They fear the unknown of a better life as they have lived for so long under the control of their partner that they see no way out and often fall into the trap that “things will get better and I promise…”
    As Laurinda has stated that financially these women are often derived of funds to enable them to escape as their partnerr controls absolutely everything in their lives including friends, family and the like.
    I, myself, have been a victim of domestic violence. Although I have never had the bruises to prove it, the emotional scars are there forever…. at least a bruise will fade away!!! My self esteem had been beaten to a pulp in several of my relationships and only that I have an excellent support in family and friends that I was able to make the break and take my life back into my own hands. It takes alot of courage and committment to make the initial move but one that is essential for one’s own self. I had gone back several times but with my children suffering these effects I had to make a decision… one of which I am most proud.
    I am now an independent woman who lives in a rural community with my children and struggle daily to make my family life happy but the scars of the emotional impact are always in the background. I am not ashamed that I have depression and when I stop and look back upon my life their are many times that I wanted to end my life but thoughts of my children have been my saviour. I could not imagine a life without my kids.
    Merinda has had to leave her children and life behind…. I see her daily struggles and know of her demons but that is only externally…. Her inner demons are a unknown quantity to me.
    I can only hope that during the course of this weekend that this topic will be brought forward and highlighted…. we give so much attention to the plight of the refugees that hit our shores but what about the women and children that are suffering daily with no way out….
    Shouldn’t we as a nation be concerned firstly for those that are extremely vulnerable and unable to cope.
    Thanking you in anticipation for bringing Domestic Violence to the forefront and not being a topic of TABOO in Australia….

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