2021’s Australian of the Year Grace Tame’s embarrassing lack of class on Tuesday caused a storm of criticism. It came after her frosty meeting with the Prime Minister and his wife during the Australian of the Year awards ceremony.
Tame uploaded a snippet of her meeting with the Prime Minister with the comment, ‘surprised they let me in.’
She also posted a picture of The Betoota Advocate (a satire website) with the caption, ‘woman faces backlash for not pretending everything is OK.’
Tame’s performance at the event was labelled ‘childish’ by many, who questioned why she bothered to show up if she was unable to behave in a respectable way toward – if not Scott Morrison – but the office of the Prime Minister.
Queensland Senator James McGrath was so unimpressed by her behaviour that he suggested Tame ‘hand back the honour’, “The important issues raised by last year’s Australian of the Year must continue to be addressed by all of us. It is a pity her behaviour and attacks on our Prime Minister are so partisan, political and childish. If she didn’t like being Australian of the Year, she should hand back the honour.”
The Project host Peter Van Onselen added that her behaviour was ‘embarrassing – for her, that is’ before unleashing in an article in The Australian in which he accused Tame of playing the role of ‘court jester’. “Acting like a child displaying a lack of basic manners when coming face-to-face with him [the Prime Minister] in a meet and greet was unbecoming and unnecessary. But to look as forlorn as she did in response, rudely and deliberately looking away from the photographer, was an act of juvenile dissent. That of itself sends a powerful message without being childishly rude and demeaning yourself.”
In addition to being Australian of the Year, Grace Tame has become and undeniably political figure for the Labor Party, frequently photographed with Labor leaders or involved in left-wing protest events.
The Prime Minister kept the exchange between them at the meeting polite by congratulating Tame on her engagement.
“On her final day as Australian of the Year, I’d like to take a moment to thank Grace Tame for her extraordinary courage and fierce advocacy,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison, even though that ‘advocacy’ involved a brutal and partisan political campaign against the Liberal Party. “You’ve inspired countless Australians and you’ve earned enormous respect.”
Tame overtly glowered during the photo session and walked off without saying anything to continue on with the Australian of the Year morning tea.