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Statement from Assistant Minister Stoker

Statement from Assistant Minister Stoker

31 March 2021

I’ve spent my career as a prosecutor and barrister working for justice for women and children who are victims of sexual crimes and unconscionable exploitation. As a barrister, I provided countless hours of pro bono support to women dealing with sexual harassment. I have argued and written out of the media spotlight for better systems to investigate and deal with sexual assault and harassment, and sometimes succeeded in making changes for the better whilst clearly the requirement for change continues. In my parliamentary role I fight relentlessly for projects and resources that improve the safety of women at risk of violence.

Ms Tame’s comments are passionate but not informed and they do not correspond with my longer history of work in this area, of which Ms Tame must be unaware. I hope that she and I can work together to advance our many shared goals. I invite Ms Tame to reach out to my office for a meeting, I will endeavour to make contact with Ms Tame to do the same.

I did not attend Ms Arndt’s campus tour. I raised it in Senate estimates to highlight the universities’ inconsistent approaches to free speech and deplatforming. I’ve argued for the importance of due process in sexual assault cases in the interests of both victims and people accused. I pointed out the hypocrisy of demanding Ms Arndt be stripped of her Australia Day honour while remaining silent about another recipient, Mr Carlton, who advocated for the strangling of my parliamentary colleague, Ms Flint.

I’m looking forward to continuing to work – as I always have – to make life better for all Australians, but particularly Australian women who have faced violence.