Rename Hewett award: Bernardi

June 20, 2018

Leader of the Conservative Party, South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi will today call for the renaming of a literary award created to honour Dorothy Hewett, following allegations the playwright and poet “facilitated” her daughters’ sexual abuse.

Yesterday, Senator Bernardi filed a notice of ­motion in the Senate, noting how one of Hewett’s daughters had likened the family home in the 1970s to “a brothel without payment’’.

The Australian reports that, in his motion, Senator Ber­nardi says he “considers it completely inappropriate that an award might bear the name of a person accused by her own children of pimping them to be sex­ually abused by paedophiles”.

Now aged in their 50s, Hewett’s daughters, Kate Lilley and Rozanna Lilley, have told The Australian their mother “facilitated” their early sexualisation in the 1970s bohemian arts milieu. They said they were abused or exploited by arts figures Bob Ellis, Martin Sharp and David Hamilton, while they were under the age of consent.

The Senate is expected to vote today on Senator Ber­nardi’s demand that the $10,000 award for unpublished manuscripts be renamed. However, the University of Western Australia, which runs the award, has said it has no plans to rebadge the prize.

Picture: The late playwright, and mother of six Dorothy Hewett with her daughters Kate, left, and Rozanna Lilley in about 1976-77

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