Advocate recognised with award

May 13, 2022 BY

Advocacy achievement: Marita Murphy is this year’s recipient of the Australian Medical Association Presidents Award. Photo: TIM BOTTAMS

BALLARAT-based sexual assault advocate Marita Murphy has received the Australian Medical Association’s Presidents Award.

Ms Murphy was presented with the gong at a ceremony at Melbourne’s Hyatt Park late last month, with recipients of the awards handpicked by the AMA’s president for outstanding advocacy work.

Advocating for both child abuse awareness and to change the statute of limitations for rape victims in Australia, Ms Murphy and said it was “amazing” to be recognised for her efforts.

“I’m the quintessential Aussie. I’ve always barracked for the underdog, and now it just happens to be me,” she said.

“I set out on a journey. It’s been nearly eight years since I reported my rape to the police so to get some traction in this way is incredible.”

Ms Murphy was presented the award by the State Minister for Health, Ambulances Services and Equality, Martin Foley, and AMA Victoria vice-president Dr Roderick McRae.

The achievement came nearly one year after the release of Ms Murphy’s documentary, You be the Judge, which tells the story of her alleged rape at age seven and her subsequent encounters with the Australian justice system.

Ms Murphy said she is honoured to receive the award, and will continue to “highlight and fight” for change within the country’s legal system.

“I’d rather advocate for others than myself, and the survivor community have been absolutely amazing with their encouragement,” she said.

“It’s making them feel braver, so if I can do it, I should. If you’ve got a problem and it’s not dealt with, you’ve still got a problem.”