The Minister’s Secret
Encore edition, introduced by Rosie Batty
Australian Story revisits the story of Victorian Minister Fiona Richardson following her recent death from cancer. She was 50 years old.
Fiona Richardson was Australia’s first Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, appointed by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in 2014.
At the time, Premier Andrews had no idea about Ms Richardson’s family history of traumatic domestic violence, inflicted by an abusive father.
“I have no memories before the age of eight that do not involve violence.” – Fiona Richardson
Last year, Ms Richardson revealed, for the first time, her long-held secret on Australian Story.
The program follows the family back to Tanzania, where they explore locations from their past to try to understand enduring scars.
Ms Richardson’s new portfolio prompted her brothers, Alastair and Hamish, and her to start talking with each other about their childhood, leading to the trip with their mother, Veronica Power.
“The domestic violence was so bad that anything that comes on top of that will be a nothing. And people need to know, because we survived it, we did.” – Veronica Power.
“Now we’re talking about stuff that actually had an impact on us, so that’s a positive. The downside of it all is that we’re airing our linen in public for the whole world to see and, yeah, that’s not a comfortable place to be.” – Hamish Richardson.
During her time in government, Fiona Richardson oversaw the Royal Commission into Domestic Violence, and used her personal experience to raise awareness of domestic violence and implement changes in policy.
NOTE: The previously scheduled episode on comedian Sami Shah will now be broadcast on Monday, 4 September, 2017.