“There’s more parts of myself that aren’t in there than are,” she says.
“This [book] is a parting of ways with an especially, particularly dark time and honouring a lot of the people who helped me get through it, and who were, and are, part of that. I know I don’t know a lot. For all of the things that I’ve seen and been through, I know that I’m a young kid in a lot of ways."
“I’m not claiming to be an expert, except for the things that I’ve experienced. I’ve got a sense of humour about myself. I know one of the things that I have to work on is being blunt and, perhaps in some ways, being too rigid in some opinions.”
For all her claims to privacy, Tame in fact shares plenty in the book – more than most people would be comfortable with.
She writes about her disrupted childhood in Tasmania, her sexual abuse when she was just 6 by an older child, her art (she drew the cover illustration for the book), her unlikely friendship with John Cleese, her travels and diamonds she’s met along the way.
And then there’s the monster, the teacher Nicolaas Bester, who repeatedly abused Tame when she was 15 and he was 58.
She doesn’t shy away from the horrors he inflicted and the damage he caused.
Watch Below: Australian of the Year Grace Tame's National Press Club address
“I’m proud of my 16-year-old self, because even though I didn’t have the words to articulate exactly what happened to me, I spoke up,” she explains.
“I’m proud I stood up to him and I looked him in the eye. I told him exactly what I thought of him. I told him he was a monster.”
Tame’s advocacy work is far from over as she continues to lobby for sexual assault legislation across the country to be consistent. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” she says.
Buy Grace's memoir, The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner here.
If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit their website.