Sexual assault survivor and advocate Grace Tame has told protesters at Hobart's March 4 Justice rally that evil thrives in silence and it's time for "making noise".

The Hobart resident, who was 15 when she was raped by her 58-year-old teacher, told the throngs gathered that the fear of doing nothing must outweigh the fear of doing something.

"Evil thrives in silence," Ms Tame told the crowd during a speech that roused thunderous applause and cheers.

"Behaviour unspoken behaviour ignored is behaviour endorsed.

"The start of the solution is quite simple - making noise."

Ms Tame said the pursuit of progress did not need to be adversarial.

"Men are not the enemy, corrupt behaviour is," she said.

"Corrupt behaviour always has been and always will be the enemy."

She encouraged women to consider their contribution as a "little domino" who together could make positive strides for the treatment of women.

"That's all you need to be - be a domino," she said.

"Ten years next month I made a choice to stand up against a man who repeatedly raped me.

"I'm not going to name him, he doesn't deserve any airtime, but I was afraid of doing something until a different kind of fear usurped that fear.

"The fear of doing nothing should outweigh your fear of doing something."

Ms Tame acknowledged while having a voice in these conversations is "terrifying", women needed to know "the power belongs to us".

"And that power is love. Keep on living, keep on listening, keep on learning but always keep on loving," she said.

Ms Tame was named 2021 Australian of the Year for her bravery in shining a light on child sex abuse, trauma impacts and the warning signs of grooming.

She is the first Tasmanian to win the award in its 61-year history.

Originally published as Aussie of Year's powerful message



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