Lidia Thorpe has today been confirmed by the Victorian Parliament, clearing the way for the Greens Senator-Elect for Victoria to make her first appearance in the Senate in October.
With Victoria's ongoing Stage 4 lockdowns leaving Victorian Parliament sitting on a reduced schedule, the last-minute confirmation was made possible through a joint sitting.
"This is a proud day not just for me, but for Aboriginal people across the country," Senator-elect Thorpe said.
"It's now official. I'm bound for Canberra in October as the first Aboriginal person elected to the Senate to represent Victoria. But the work doesn't wait until then, and it doesn't just start today.
"Black women fight for their community from the day they're born. When I was growing up in public housing, the thought that someone like me could be in Parliament was laughable. My promise to the people of Victoria is that I will fight for you, no matter who you are. I know what it’s like to go through the hard knocks and I will never forget where I came from.
“I have fought my whole life for those without a voice – no matter what your background or where you come from. I'm proud to be able to take that fight to the highest office.
"While days like this are just boring parliamentary procedure to some people, to Aboriginal people across the country, it's a sign of hope. It shows that our parliament can be representative, and that Blak voices can be heard.
"This couldn't have come at a more important time, and there's so much to be done when I'm sworn in.
"Aboriginal communities across the country are being hit hard by the consequences of the pandemic. We're being shut out of talks about how to fix the crisis and the government's plans for a gas-led recovery would frack and destroy more of our precious heritage and drive the climate crisis.
"After caring for this country for more than 60,000 years, our land is being destroyed by unprecedented bushfires driven by climate change.
"Too many people are being left behind by this government. It's time for leadership. It's time for a parliament that truly represents the Australian community, and understands the challenges we face.
“I’ll be fighting for action on climate change, an end to entrenched economic disadvantage and of course, Treaty and justice for First Nations people. I can't wait to get into Parliament to shake things up."
Lidia Thorpe is a mother and grandmother from the Gunnai and Gunditjmara nations. She was the first Aboriginal woman in the Victorian parliament, is the first Aboriginal Senator for Victoria and first federal Aboriginal MP for the Greens.
The confirmation process occurred 3:00pm today, via a joint sitting of the Victorian House of Representatives and the Legislative Council.
Lidia Thorpe will now be sworn in to Federal Parliament during the October sitting, pandemic allowing.