SEXUAL assault and harassment was a painful discussion point during Q&A on Monday night, after Hollywood was rocked to its core this week over movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's shocking rape allegations.

Panellists on the show were asked whether they thought sexual assault allegations against US President Donald Trump, aired during the recent presidential election, had been taken seriously enough.

In response Labor Member for Cowan, Anne Aly, asked everyone in the room to raise their hand if they had been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed.

Many in the audience indicated they had, prompting Aly to comment that it was "not OK".

Aly also hit back at comments that she said had been made to her in the past that she was "overly friendly and some men take it the wrong way".

"Like it's my fault they're stupid," Aly said.

"It's not OK to keep making excuses for people."

She said she thought this had happened with Donald Trump and the campaign, and that widespread cultural change was required.

"I've been harassed in the boardroom, in the park, on the bus, in the street, in Australia, in Egypt, in Spain, in Italy. Wherever I've been. So I think it's time we say enough is enough," she said.

"Women are afraid to speak out when they're harassed. They're afraid to say something in case they're labelled the troublemaker or the loud one or the witch or the one who can't take it. We need to stop."

Anne Aly on Q&A
Anne Aly on Q&A ABC

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer said he thought misogyny was endemic in the US and pointed to the origins of one of the country's most successful companies - Facebook - which founder Mark Zuckerberg created after being dumped by this girlfriend and was initially used to rate the attractiveness of women.

Musician Jimmy Barnes agreed saying: "Men have had too much power for too long and it's been really badly abused.

Musician Jimmy Barnes says men have had too much power for too long.
Musician Jimmy Barnes says men have had too much power for too long. ABC

"I've seen it everywhere I've been. It's not unique to America by any stretch of the imagination."

Barnes was also asked about his experience with alcoholism and self-destructive behaviour and said going to see a therapist regularly was a huge step.

"I always thought if you go and ask for help ... it's a sign of weakness," he said.

"I can look back now and look at the day when I started seriously asking for help, and trying to get help, was probably the first day where I showed any courage."

Barnes said changing men's attitudes, particularly in relation to domestic violence, needed to start young.

"It has to start when you're a baby. It's systemic and born and bred into you.

"It has to start as children. We have to change what men are supposed to be and how they're supposed to act and think because it's killing us and it's certainly killing our partners."

Aly also spoke about her experience of domestic violence.

"When you go through that there's a little part of you that stays broken," she said.

"And you can become a rock star or you could become a politician ... but it never leaves you. It never, ever leaves you.

"But recognising it ... recognising when you need help and admitting that you're vulnerable is really a point of strength."

Discussion also turned to climate change with panellists asked about former prime minister Tony Abbott's recent comments questioning its existence.

Director of Arcana Partners and Research Fellow at Lowy Institute, Lydia Khalil said issues of leadership and climate/energy policies were coming up in her political risk assessments of Australia.

"For decades you had very little political risk here and it currently is the same way," she said.

"But these two issues ... come up in these analysis.

"This merry-go-round of leadership changes Australia has experienced ... it's not healthy for Australian democracy. Likewise, this lack of ability to come to some sort of consensus is something the world is paying attention to."

Monday’s Q & A panel
Monday’s Q & A panel ABC
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