Veteran journalist, turned accidental advocate, Tracey Spicer AM presents a revelatory series Silent No More on the ABC and iview on Mondays at 8:30pm from 25 November.
Over three episodes, Tracey explores how #MeToo is changing Australia, tackling the confusion and backlash caused by the movement. She speaks to ordinary Australians who bravely share their experiences, looks at how the system must be reformed, and explores how #MeToo can be the catalyst for positive change for everyone, regardless of gender.
More than a decade after Tarana Burke started the Me Too movement in the United States, the hashtag went viral in response to sexual abuse allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein. Following this, Tracey sent a tweet asking Australians if they had experienced their own #MeToo moments. She was inundated by women, and some men, from all kinds of workplaces, sharing horrifying stories of sexual harassment and assault. As the number of messages grew from hundreds to thousands, Tracey became committed to amplifying their stories, and agitating for change.
Throughout Silent No More, Tracey travels across the country, hearing accounts from women in a variety of industries including mining, real estate, the postal sector and farming, who have spoken publicly for the first time. As Gretta, Mandy, Summer, ‘Mariam’ and Abby share their stories, we see firsthand the toll workplace sexual harassment has taken on them.
We’re with Tracey as the Australian government responds to #MeToo, announcing a world-first National Inquiry, and as she supports those who are tackling the system. Unfortunately, as the momentum for change grows, so too does the backlash, and it becomes more apparent than ever that men and women need to unite to drive reform. 18 months into her journey, Tracey reflects on changes she has seen at both a grassroots and top level and examines how we can eliminate sexual harassment for the next generation.
Throughout the series we hear from the founder of Rites of Passage Dr Arne Rubinstein, who is helping young Australians navigate their formative adolescent years, and Executive Director of Belong Ben Burge, a staunch advocate for promoting healthy corporate workplace culture, who believes psychological safety is the key to improving productivity.
We meet a bar worker, Nikki, who pioneered Melbourne’s Respect is the Rule campaign, and a migrant fruit packer, ‘Mariam’, who stood up to her assaulter. Other contributors include one of Australia’s leading employment lawyers, Josh Bornstein, who provides insight into the complex legal process victims may face against often highly resourced defendants; and human resources strategist, Dr Rebecca Michalak, who says sexual harassment should be seen squarely as a Work Health and Safety issue.
Silent No More is an engrossing series, taking us through the confusion, anger and catharsis created by #MeToo, encouraging conversation in our homes, schools and workplaces. The series demonstrates we are at a crossroads, with the opportunity for Australia to lead the way in finding solutions to make our workplaces, and society, safer for all.
Silent No More is a Southern Pictures production for the ABC, made with funding from Create NSW and Screen Australia.