I have followed the whole Barnaby Joyce debacle shaking my head. Here is a man who claims to represent the best interest of farmers and agriculture. Yet so little of his ideas of the “best interest” for farmers matched mine. I will admit there were parts of Barnaby’s style I did admire. But when it was revealed that the WA woman who filed a sexual harassment complaint against the former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce for inappropriate behaviour was Catherine Marriott and he described her comments as “spurious and defamatory” I realised I couldn’t forgive him for anything .
Catherine Marriott (affectionately known as Maz) is agriculture’s darling and she deserves to be. She is integrity personified. I am 100% confident if Catherine made a complaint, that complaint is 100% valid. Barnaby you will never convince agriculture that Catherine would make a “spurious and defamatory” allegation.
The court of public opinion is hammering Catherine for not taking her allegation to the police. Lets be real women all over the world. I for one would do something but the last place I would walk into is a police station. And seriously does it matter when it happened. Who wants their legacy to be “that woman who accused Barnaby Joyce”.
Catherine is a giver. She cares deeply and she supports others who care deeply. This kind of generosity has a ripple effect for others. She inspires. She uplifts and she encourages others to do the same. They become catalysts for better leadership and contribution to the rural sector. All those who personally know Catherine, know how much courage it took to do this. Lets not judge Catherine. Lets talk about how women can stand up without the stigma and the public scrutiny that making a complaint to the police generates.
Some key points from ABC News article Barnaby Joyce sexual harassment accuser wanted Nationals leader held accountable
- Former WA Rural Woman of the Year Catherine Marriott said she never intended for the issue to become public
- Ms Marriott said she asked National Party to undertake a “formal and confidential” investigation
- Barnaby Joyce previously called her allegation “spurious and defamatory”
Catherine Marriott said she made the complaint because she wanted Mr Joyce to be accountable.
In a statement, Ms Marriott said she never intended for the issue to become public and had asked for the National Party to undertake a “formal and confidential” investigation into the incident.
“I requested that … to ensure there is accountability in relation to the incident I raise, and to prevent this type of inappropriate behaviour towards women in the future,” Ms Marriott said.
“This complaint was not made solely to address the incident against me — it is about speaking up against inappropriate behaviour by people in powerful positions.
“I will await the outcome of this investigation before determining any future action or commenting further.”
Ms Marriott is a former West Australian Rural Woman of the Year.