Brittany Higgins after meeting the prime minister in 2021 (Image: AAP/Dean Lewins)

Today Parliament will deliver a formal apology to victims of alleged sexual assault and bullying in the building, but a few important names were originally left off the invite list: namely Brittany Higgins, Rachelle Miller and the other former Liberal staffers who allege they were sexually assaulted in Parliament. 

Higgins revealed to news.com.au last night that she “hasn’t been invited” to the formal apology to victims — strange, given the former Liberal staffer played a pivotal role in sparking the Jenkins review of parliamentary culture in 2021 that called for the apology to occur.

It’s coming up to one year since Higgins’ decision to go public with allegations that she was raped by a colleague in Parliament House in 2019. She is in Canberra this week to deliver an address to the National Press Club alongside former Australian of the Year Grace Tame. 

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After news.com.au reported on Higgins’ missing invitation on Monday night, Parliament moved to ensure that she could attend (apparently COVID rules means former staffers cannot enter the building) but no word yet if the other women who alleged they were also assaulted, harassed, or bullied in Parliament House will be invited.

Among these former staffers is Miller, Education Minister Alan Tudge’s former lover, who alleges her relationship with Tudge was abusive, emotionally and once physically (allegations Tudge denies).

Miller took to Twitter last night to note her lack of invite (and throw a well-placed barb).

Miller confirmed on RN Breakfast today that she has since been invited after Independent Zali Steggall offered one of her six invites to her. As we wrote in Crikey yesterday, women have long been ignored on both sides of politics, but now they are are increasingly happy to speak up and speak out.

Deliberate snub or is COVID really the reason? Let us know your thoughts by writing to letters@crikey.com.au. Please include your full name if you would like to be considered for publication in Crikey’s Your Say columnWe reserve the right to edit for length and clarity.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
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