Hey Max, what’s it like being Grace Tame’s partner?

Max Heerey didn’t know what he was getting into when he invited a fellow Hobart (Aust) runner out for a jog late in 2020. As it turned out, he had just organised a date with Grace Tame, who was named Australian of the Year 2021 just a couple of months later. In this So…podcast episode, Max talks publicly for the first time about his relationship with Grace, an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, particularly those who were abused in institutional settings. From the age of 15, Grace was groomed and raped by her maths teacher, who was later jailed for his crimes. Grace also fought and won for the reform of laws in Tasmania – Australia’s island state – that gagged survivors from speaking publicly and identifying themselves. Max has been by her side the whole time, despite their relationship being so new when she received the award. He reveals how he copes with hearing Grace discuss the abuse she suffered, his pride when she won the award, and how he prefers to keep a low profile. This couple bounce off each other in this relaxed – and often funny – conversation that even includes a discussion about Grace’s tasty banana bread. This episode contains references to grooming, sexual abuse, and mental health issues. If you feel that you need any support, please use one of the below resources. 1800respect.org.au beyondblue.org.au

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*Transcript of this interview is also available*