The Four Pillars

The Greens are a global movement founded on the same four pillars:
Environmental sustainability, is the recognised need to reduce the negative impact of human civilisation on the natural environment 
Social and economic justice, is the rejection of discrimination based on distinctions between class, gender, sexuality, identity and culture 
Grassroots democracy, or participatory democracy, is embraced by the Greens as the only reliable governance model of achieving social change, and 
Peace and non-violence, which draws heavily on the Quakker and Gandhi movements, is the rejection of violence as a means of overcoming opponents.

Early Years

The Australian Greens Victoria was formed in 1992 as a response to the formation of the Australian Greens which united pre-existing Green parties in Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT.  The first election the Greens contested in Victoria was the 1993 Federal election when the party contested the seat of La Trobe.

With Peter Singer leading the Greens Senate ticket in the 1996 federal election, we achieved 2.9% of the vote statewide, against a strong Democrats campaign led by Cheryl Kernot. Within a month of the Federal election the Greens took on both local elections and a general state election.

The Greens had high hopes for our lead Senate candidate at the 1998 Federal election. Charmaine Clarke would have been the first Aboriginal woman elected to any parliament in Australia, as well as the first out lesbian elected to Canberra.  However, our vote slipped back to 2.5% in an election dominated by One Nation and tax.

In March 1999, the Victorian Greens elected our first Councillor when David Risstrom was elected to represent Melbourne. His achievements on issues such as planning, transport and greenhouse emissions demonstrated just how much even one Green can do once elected.

That same year the Greens achieved our highest average vote for any statewide election, winning almost 5% in all contested lower house seats in Victoria.  With no ALP candidate in the upper house seat of Templestowe, Robyn Evans won 38% of the vote, and after preferences achieved 44%, the highest vote ever achieved by a Green anywhere in Australia.

The following Federal election in 2001 saw the Greens achieve a vote of 5.9% statewide in the House of Representatives, and 6% in the Senate.  Another Green, Gurm Sekhon, was elected to local government, on Yarra City Council.  This was the first time in Australia a Green had been elected to a single-member electorate.  In 2002, he was joined by Greens councillors Greg Barber, Deborah Di Natale and Jenny Farrar. 

The 2002 State election was something of a watershed for the Victorian Greens, with a vote of 9.73% statewide.  Two Greens narrowly missed out on election to the lower house – Gemma Pinnell in Richmond and Richard Di Natale in Melbourne.

In 2003, Greg Barber became Australia's first Green Mayor.

In the 2004 Federal election, despite a vote of nearly 9% for Greens candidate David Risstrom, preferences from the ALP elected conservative Family First Senate candidate Steve Fielding on a primary vote of less then 2%.  He went on to provide the Howard government with the crucial vote it needed to introduce regressive Voluntary Student Unionism legislation, legislation opposed by Greens, Democrats and the ALP.

Our First Victorian Green MPs

The outcome of the 2002 State election opened up new possibilities for the Victorian Greens.  The Bracks government had implemented upper house reform, giving us our first real chance to elect Greens to the Victorian Parliament.  After a long and hard-fought campaign, three Greens, Greg Barber (Northern Metropolitan), Sue Pennicuik (Southern Metropolitan) and Colleen Hartland (Western Metropolitan), were elected to the State upper house at the 2006 State election. They shared the balance of power with two Nationals and two DLP members of parliament. The DLP received a very low primary vote, but were elected on ALP preferences.

2010: An Historic Year

In 2010 the Victorian Greens had an unprecedented year of excitement and success. After almost two decades of heartbreak and unlucky Federal election results, not only did we elect a Greens candidate Richard Di Natale to the Senate, we also made history with Adam Bandt becoming the first Green to win a seat in the lower house in a general election. Adam was elected with a primary vote of 36.2%.

This incredible election result saw the Greens holding shared balance of power, supporting a minority Labor government led by Julia Gillard, Australia's first female Prime Minister. Our successful negotiations saw the implementation of a carbon tax and dentalcare for children. 

In November 2010 we contested another state election and re-elected our three sitting members of Parliament with an increase in our state-wide vote.

A Lurch to the Right

The 2013 federal election saw a blow to progressive politics in Australia, with the election of Tony Abbott's Coalition government. Despite many wins in the previous minority government, the instability and in-fighting from the Labor party and a strong scare campaign from the right saw a national swing against the Greens. Despite this, the Greens elected our second Victorian Senator, Janet Rice, and re-elected Adam Bandt to the seat of Melbourne, now with a primary vote of 42.62%. 

A Break-through State Election

In the 2014 state election, the Victorian Greens made history by winning their first ever lower house seats. Ellen Sandell became the Greens MP for the state seat of Melbourne after a primary vote of 41.4% and a swing of nearly 9%, and Sam Hibbins became the first Green to win a seat of a sitting Liberal member in Prahran, after securing a narrow win in a tight three-way race between the Labor and Liberal parties. 

Samantha Dunn in the Eastern Metropolitan region and Nina Springle in the South-East Metropolitan region joined Greg Barber, Sue Pennicuik and Colleen Hartland in the upper house after winning their respective seats, the first Greens members to represent those regions. 

Two Elections: One Campaign

In 2015, Christine Milne announced her retirement from politics, and Richard Di Natale was elected as the federal leader of the Australian Greens. A year into this role, 2016 saw one of the biggest challenges the Victorian Greens had ever faced, with a double dissolution, early election followed immediately by the biggest local government campaign we have ever faced. 

With record-breaking swings of up to 10% in some inner-city seats, the Greens narrowly missed out on wins in Batman and Melbourne Ports, and achieved some great results in Wills and Higgins, paving the way for some big wins in future elections. Adam Bandt was comfortably re-elected to his third term as the member for Melbourne with a primary vote of 43.75% and a 2PP vote of 68.48%. 

Both Janet Rice and Richard Di Natale were re-elected as Senators for Victoria.

Buoyed by these results, the Victorian Greens pivoted into a highly polished and professional local government campaign which saw our state-wide representation increase from 17 to 29 councillors, including three mayors and two deputy mayors. 

In Darebin, Moreland and Yarra councils, the Greens saw our representation rise to 4, and in Port Phillip from no sitting councillor to 3. The election of Peter Castaldo saw the first Green elected to Banyule, ousting a sitting Liberal in a single-member ward, and we re-elected regional and suburban councillors, including new councillors in the Western suburbs of Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay.


In 2018 Victorian state election, the Greens lost the state seat of Northcote (Lidia Thorpe) but held Melbourne (Ellen Sandell) and Prahran (Sam Hibbins), and gained the seat of Brunswick with Dr Tim Read, keeping 3 lower house seats. However, the party suffered in the upper house, with only leader Samantha Ratnam retaining her seat due to complex preference deals (group voting ticket) benefiting other minor parties.


In the 2019 election, Adam Bandt retained his seat of Melbourne with a primary vote of 49.3%, the highest primary vote for the Greens in the history of the electorate. The Greens' primary vote in Melbourne (49.3%) was larger than the combined Liberal and Labor vote, of 21.5% and 19.7% respectively. On 3 February 2020, Richard Di Natale announced his resignation as leader of the Greens and imminent retirement from politics, citing family reasons. Bandt became leader of the Australian Greens and started work on the Green New Deal (similar to the 2019 Green New Deal sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the USA and European Green Deal 2019 supported by the European Council). In June 2020, Lidia Thorpe was chosen by Victorian Greens to fill the federal Senate vacancy left by former leader Richard Di Natale's resignation. Lidia started her term as Senator for Victoria on September 4 2020. 


The 2020 Victorian local government elections were held amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. The Greens achieved massive success, with a 50% increase in councillors across Victoria including Australia's first Greens-majority council elected in the City of Yarra.

The May 2022 Australian federal election saw our highest-ever primary vote, and came within 300 votes of turning the seat of Macnamara Green. The election resulted in the Greens winning a seat in every state (this included an increased vote in Victoria), increasing our Senate seats by 3 to a record 12 seats!

The November 2022 Victorian state election saw the Greens doubled the party room, with our highest-ever state election primary vote. The seat of Richmond became Green for the first time with former Yarra Mayor, Gabrielle de Vietri getting elected. Also elected were Katherine Copsey (Southern Metropolitan Region), Sarah Mansfield (Western Victoria Region), and Aiv Puglielli (North Eastern Metropolitan Region).

In February 2023 Senator Lidia Thorpe resigned from the Australian Greens over policy disagreements concerning the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament. She remained in the senate as an independent. Thorpe had previously been a member of the Victorian Parliament after winning the Northcote state by-election in 2017. She became the first known Aboriginal woman elected to the state's parliament and served as the member for the division of Northcote in the Legislative Assembly from 2017 to 2018.

Long time Glen Eira City Councillor David Zyngier passed away on 25 November 2023. David was a lifelong advocate for public education, for peace and social justice and for climate action and was a big supporter of the Bayside Glen Eira branch.

In September 2023 Senator Janet Rice announced she would not re-contest her Victorian Senate position. After 10 years representing Victoria, Janet resigned from the Australian Senate, leaving in April 2024.  Steph Hodgins-May was elected by the party to fill the casual vacancy left by Janet's resignation, place effective 1 May 2024. Senator Hodgins-May’s, her first speech to Parliament was on 25 June 2024.

See our current Greens Federal MPs and Senators
See our current Victorian State MPs
See our current Victorian Local Council Representatives



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