Today the Federal Court has ruled on my defamation case against former Senator David Leyonhjelm.
It is with relief and pleasure that I can inform you that we were successful. I couldn’t have done this without you.
When men do the wrong thing, they should apologise. Most men do. But when they don’t, they should be called out.
Taking legal action was a hard decision to make, and one that could not have happened without the immense support from regular everyday Australians, like you, who want better treatment and respect for women in our workplaces, our homes and our community.
All I ever wanted was for Mr. Leyonhjelm to apologise for his hurtful remarks and bad behaviour. He refused.
The Court’s decision today has vindicated my decision to stand up and call it out.
No woman deserves to be bullied and harassed in her workplace - not on the shop floor, in the office, in the factory or in the Parliament. Not all women are able to stand up to the men that bully and harass them. As a Member of Parliament I am in a privileged position, and with privilege comes a responsibility to act for others.
The money raised from this case will go to two important organisations that fight for women and girls every day: Plan International and the Working Women’s Centre in South Australia; two organisations that work at the coalface of inequality and discrimination. Your support has made this possible.
Calling out bad behaviour and holding those who harass and belittle women to account is essential for society if we are to achieve true equality.
I took this action because my daughter and her peers deserve to grow up in a society where women, young and old, married or single, rich or poor are treated with respect, free of discrimination, harassment and sexist slurs.
Our nation’s Parliament is an important and revered institution; it should set the standard of appropriate behaviour and model values of respect and equality for all.
Bullies must be taken on and held to account, no matter where they work or what privileges their title brings.
I would like to thank you, and everyone who donated to help this legal case happen. And to the many women, girls and decent men who have shared their stories of hurt, pain and hope with me — thank you for your support, trust and encouragement.
It is for every woman and girl who has been told to or made to stay silent in the face of harassment and disrespect that I have taken this legal action. Today’s ruling is a win for them.