Senator David Van, an Australian legislator from the opposition Liberal Party, has been accused of sexual assault in the parliament building by a female colleague. His party members suspended him on Thursday.

This occurred after Australian senator Lidia Thorpe said that a senator had aggressively pursued her and sexually touched her in the Senate Chamber, declaring it to be “not a safe place” for women to work. It is well known that Van is married to Nerilee Rockman, a highly successful woman.

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Who is Nerilee Rockman?

Nerilee Rockman is the wife of Senator David Van in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is an educated business lawyer and strategic thinker, according to her LinkedIn profile. She is also a very skilled manager who uses the skills of her multicultural, dispersed workforce to achieve operational excellence. In order to handle stakeholders at both the highest and operational levels efficiently, she builds and maintains excellent connections with both internal and external stakeholders.

Nerilee has worked for mining and energy firms for over 25 years. She presently serves as AngloGold Ashanti Limited’s Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. She served as AngloGold Ashanti Australia’s Vice President of Legal, Environment, and Supply Chain for the past ten years, overseeing a diversified department of corporate and mine site workers across a wide range of disciplines and roles.

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After being elected in 2019, David Van gave his first statement to the legislature and declared that his wife Nerilee Rockman “is never out of my thoughts or my heart.”

Senator Lidia Thorpe told the Australian parliament on Thursday that she had endured “sexual comments,” been cornered and followed in a stairwell, been “inappropriately touched” and “propositioned” by “powerful men” and that the parliament was “not a safe place for women.”

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Numerous high-profile claims of sexual assault and harassment inside the Parliament Building have been made since 2021 in Australian politics. It should be noted that Van’s expulsion from the Liberal Party’s parliamentary caucus does not constitute his removal from the legislature; rather, he would now be an independent.