From the Senator for Victoria: Lidia Thorpe

By Lidia Thorpe

Struggle and Victories: Lidia Thorpe

Much like 2020, we’ve had our fair share of struggles in 2021 but they haven’t been without our victories. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change spoke to the importance of First Nations knowledge in the fight for climate justice. When most of the east coast was in lockdown, we organised remote protests in parliament to stop this Government driving us towards a climate catastrophe. We’ve welcomed another staunch, Blak, deadly sister to the federal Green team: Yamatji-Noongar Senator Dorinda Cox who is the first Aborginal woman to represent WA in federal parliament. It’s not easy being Green, but as a party we have a lot to be proud of. 

First Nations

We continued the fight for fair use of the First Nations flag through the Select Committee on the Aboriginal Flag. Through Senate Estimates, I was able to uncover where Blak money was being squandered and push for these funds to be used for their intended purpose. We’ve brought together First Nations academics, activists and senior law men to talk about Treaty and what that could look like in this country.

After the Senate Committee into the Juukan Gorge crisis concluded their work, we announced a comprehensive Caring for Country initiative which strengthens heritage protection, expands Indigenous Protected Areas, gives more funding to First Nations ranger programs, and legislates environmental personhood - ensuring that future crises’ like that at Juukan are avoided. I told our parliament that what happens on Country should be left to Traditional Owners. I also called on Federal Environment Minister, Susan Ley to protect the sacred Djaki Kundu site on Kabi land.


Greens across the country are mobilising to raise the age of legal responsibility to 14. Attorney-General of the ACT Shane Rattenbury has led the way to make their state the first jurisdiction committed to raising the age. Earlier this year, Dr Tim Read introduced a bill to raise the age in Victoria, which would amend section 344 of the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 and commence in November 2022. In September, Michael Berkman introduced a bill to raise the age in the Queensland Parliament. At the federal level, I’ve been grilling the Attorney General to show some leadership and make this country's criminal law abide by international human rights standards.

We’ve continued to call for the full implementation of all recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, in collaboration with the families of those left behind after a death in custody. This includes banning lethal choke holds, banning spit hoods and greater transparency in reporting deaths in custody. Fella’s Bill passed in South Australian Parliament, which banned the use of spit hoods. It’s up to us to continue this work and extend that legislation to other jurisdictions.

To stop deaths in custody, we’ve been campaigning for independent police and prison oversight through the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). Without independent monitoring of places of detention more of our people will die in custody. I asked the Senate to take a moment's silence, for those who have died in police custody.


In the wake of the 'Do Better' report, which found Collingwood Football Club guilty of systemic racism, I called for then-president Eddie McGuire to step down which he did in February. We’ve supported Heritier Lumumba in his fight for justice and Ngaragu woman Ash Barty won the Ladies' Singles at Wimbledon.The Human Rights Commission have done great work in their zero-tolerance guidelines for stamping out racism in Australian Sport. The guidelines have 20 signatories including Cricket Australia, the AFL, the NRL and Tennis Australia.


‹ Greens 2021 Annual Reports