The Greens have announced that former Victorian state MP Lidia Thorpe will take the Federal Senate seat being vacated by Richard Di Natale.
- Lidia Thorpe will replace former Greens leader Richard Di Natale in the Senate, after he resigned earlier this year citing family reasons
- Ms Thorpe is an Indigenous leader and activist and was elected via a state-wide ballot of Greens party members
- She said she would focus on issues including climate change, injustice and inequality
Lidia Thorpe is an Indigenous leader and activist who served as Member for Northcote in Victoria’s Parliament.
The Gunnai-Kurnai and Gunditjmara woman was elected in a state-wide ballot conducted by Greens party members.
She is the first Indigenous person to represent the Greens in Federal Parliament.
Ms Thorpe said it was “an incredible honour and a huge responsibility” to join the Senate.
“I’m ready to fight for the issues we all believe in — climate, injustice, inequality,” she said.
“Now more than ever, we need to not accept the old ways — this is our chance to build back better and I’m ready to bring us together to get it done.”
In 2017, Ms Thorpe became the first Aboriginal woman elected to the Victorian Parliament.
After leaving school at age 14 and surviving family violence, she hoped her story would inspire others.
“This is a message to all those battlers out there and all those women who experienced family violence that we have a voice,” she said.
“It’s so important for kids growing up today in places I grew up to know they can do what I’ve done.
“Kids in the Commission flats, or out in country towns, or single mums, or survivors of domestic violence —this isn’t out of your reach.”
Mr Di Natale resigned as federal leader of the Greens in February, after almost five years leading the party, citing family reasons.
Sixty-five per cent of the 3,600 Victorian Greens members cast a vote during the two-week preselection process.
Australian Greens leader Adam Bandt described Ms Thorpe as a “fearless” advocate for economic and social justice.
“From being the first Aboriginal woman elected to Victorian parliament, to winning renters rights, forestry protections and LGBTIQ support, Lidia has an incredible track record of fighting for change,” he said.