Grace Tame becomes first non-celebrity to feature on marie claire cover

Grace Tame marie claire

• Tame was named 2021 Australian of the Year in January

For the first time in its 25-year history, marie claire has put a non-celebrity on its cover with child sexual abuse survivor and activist Grace Tame helming the magazine’s May issue.

Named 2021 Australian of the Year in January, Tame’s impassioned message and advocacy for the eradication of child sex abuse and national reform around consent laws, have captured the attention of Australians.

Outlining the reasons why Tame has become the first non-celebrity to feature on a marie claire cover, editor Nicky Briger said: “Anyone who’s heard Grace speak is instantly moved by the power of her compassion and convictions. But beyond just words, she’s a true change-maker who’s shining a light on child sex abuse and the urgent need for action and legislative change. As a brand that’s continually striving to educate, empower and inspire Australian women, Grace represents our core values better than anyone. I’m absolutely thrilled she agreed to ‘grace’ our cover and, in the process, make marie claire history.”

During her interview with marie claire, Tame humbly rejects the revolutionary tag and instead describes herself as a “tiny domino” who’s helped prompt others into action. “People are sometimes deterred from action or doubt the value of their contribution in change,” says Tame, 26. “But there’s a whole set of dominos waiting to be pushed over. Just be that one domino. Your tiny little contribution has enormous catalytic potential.”

Adamant that men are not seen as the enemy or that she’s a poster-girl for rage, Tame speaks affectionately of the males in her life who have helped steer her life towards positivity and hope. There’s her partner and “soulmate” Max, who she met last year and describes as the love of her life. “We’ve both been in long-term relationships; I was even married [to actor Spencer Breslin]. But I’m already closer to Max than I was to my husband,” she tells marie claire. There’s also Dr Simon William, who she trusted with details of the harrowing sexual assault she suffered for years at the hands of fellow school teacher Nicholaas Bester, leading to his arrest. Lastly, her 11-year-old brother, Oscar, who Tame describes as her “little hero”. “He’s a very, very special person. He came into the world right when the abuse started, and pardon the pun, he was a literal saving grace.”

Despite the momentum that has occurred since her Australian of the Year acceptance speech, Tame is clear that a frenzied uprising is not the answer. “We’re all getting very stirred up at the moment. We see these surges and then they die down. What we need to do is sustain a more manageable, reasonable momentum that’s not so overblown, it’s just measured.”

And she’s adamant that she’ll keep fighting the fight long after her reign – until child sexual abuse is eradicated and the laws around consent have a standard national definition. “I won’t stop until I see the end of child sexual assault,” she says. “It’s as simple as that.”

The May issue of marie claire featuring Grace Tame is on sale from today. 

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