Lidia Thorpe

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Lidia Thorpe
MP Lidia Thorpe.png
Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
for Northcote
In office
18 November 2017 – 24 November 2018
Preceded byFiona Richardson
Succeeded byKat Theophanous
Personal details
Born1973 (age 46–47)
Political partyGreens

Lidia Alma Thorpe (born 1973)[1] is an Australian former politician. She was the member for Northcote in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 2017 to 2018 and is a member of the Victorian Greens. Thorpe won the Northcote state by-election on 18 November 2017 to become the first Aboriginal woman elected to the Parliament of Victoria.[2]

Early career[edit]

Thorpe, a Gunnai-Gunditjmara woman, was the managing director of Clan Corporation, a sustainable housing and renewable energy business catering to remote Aboriginal communities. She was also the chair of the Victorian NAIDOC Committee.[3][4] Thorpe has also worked as the Aboriginal employment adviser for the Municipal Association of Victoria, was president of the Lakes Entrance Basketball Association for three years, school council member of the Nowa Nowa Primary School, a steering committee member for Indigenous Administrators, a member of Community of Practice, a member of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria), and a project manager with the East Gippsland Shire Council, where she addressed disadvantage in Lakes Entrance through the Advancing Country Towns Project.[5]

Thorpe's grandmother, Alma Thorpe, was one of the founders of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service.[6][7]

Political career[edit]

Thorpe won the seat of Northcote at the 2017 by-election after receiving 45.22% of the primary vote, giving her a winning distribution of 50.93%, 11% more than the Labor candidate.[8] Thorpe was sworn in as a member of parliament on 28 November 2017 and she delivered her first speech to the Assembly the following day.[9]

Thorpe was the Australian Greens Victoria portfolio holder for Aboriginal Justice, Consumer Affairs, Skills and Training, Sport and Mental Health.[10]

Since taking her seat in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Thorpe held Labor to account on the many promises they made during the Northcote by-election. This includes honouring the promises of funding to schools in Northcote, Alphington, Thornbury and Preston;[11] and reforms to renter's rights.[12]

In May 2018 Thorpe organised a historic gathering of Aboriginal Elders in the parliament of Victoria to discuss the state's treaty processes. The meeting was organised as part of Thorpe's campaign to implement clan-based treaties, which would recognise the approximately 100 Aboriginal clans in Victoria. At the time Thorpe said "Our sovereignty and each of our language groups and our Clans must be clearly recognised in the government's treaty advancement legislation."[13] The delegation of Clan Elders unanimously agreed to form an Elder's Council. Thorpe supported the Victorian government's 2018 Treaty bill, but stated that she would continue to push for clan sovereignty to be recognised as the Treaty process advances.[14]


  1. ^ Wahlquist, Calla (29 November 2017). "Lidia Thorpe 'finds her voice', the first Indigenous woman to do so in Victorian parliament". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ Raue, Ben (19 November 2017). "Northcote byelection: Greens' Lidia Thorpe takes Melbourne seat from Labor". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  3. ^ Green, Antony. "Northcote by-election". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  4. ^ Towell, Noel; Preiss, Benjamin (11 September 2017). "Northcote by-election: Greens pick their woman for key battle of the north". The Age.
  5. ^ "Lidia Thorpe: Emerging Leader 2008 - 2009". Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  6. ^ "2011 Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll - Alma Thorpe". State Government of Victoria. 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  7. ^ New Greens MP Lidia Thorpe's long road from Nowa Nowa to Northcote, The Age, 19 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Northcote District By-election 2017 : Northcote District". VEC. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  9. ^ "State's first Aboriginal woman MP Lidia Thorpe speaks of genocide, lingering disadvantage". The Age. 29 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Lidia Thorpe MLA for Northcote". The Greens Victoria. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Schools still neglected in Northcote and Thornbury". The Greens Victoria. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Rental reforms could come too late". The Greens Victoria. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Victorian Elders call for Clan-based treaties and more inclusion in process". NITV. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Victoria passes Aboriginal treaty bill". The Age. Retrieved 15 August 2018.

External links[edit]

Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Fiona Richardson
Member for Northcote
Succeeded by
Kat Theophanous