First Aboriginal Woman is Elected to State Parliament in Australia
A shock win for the Greens
The Greens' Lidia Thorpe has made history after becoming the first Indigenous woman elected to Victorian Parliament.
Thorpe defeated Labor candidate Clare Burns, with a swing of more than 11%.
Locals voted in the by-election in the inner-city seat of Northcote in Victoria, with the results announced on Saturday night.
Congratulations to Lidia Thorpe and the amazing Vic Greens members who have just seen us secure an historic victory in the seat of Northcote! So fantastic! Welcome Lidia and bring on the 2018 election!— Richard Di Natale (@RichardDiNatale) November 18, 2017
The election was called after Labor minister Fiona Richardson, who previously held the seat, passed away after her battle with cancer in August. The seat has been held by Labor for the past 90 years. It is the first time Labor has lost a Victorian by-election since 1948.
Thorpe is a businesswoman and chair of the Victorian NAIDOC Committee and has been involved in the state's treaty discussions since the beginning.
“We said we’d make history and we did,” said Thorpe in a post on Facebook. “I am so proud to be the first Aboriginal woman in the Victorian Parliament.”
“As a kid who left school at 14, I can’t tell you what it means to take my place as a strong Aboriginal voice at the heart of our Victorian Parliament,” Thorpe continued. “Tonight, and throughout this campaign, I’ve received so many messages from Aboriginal people, not just in Victoria but all over this country who are sharing this moment. You cannot underestimate what this means to so many people.”
The Victorian Greens now hold three seats in inner Melbourne and are hoping to win Richmond and Brunswick, both seats currently held by Labor, in the 2018 elections.
But Burns said her defeat in Northcote is in no way an indicator of what’s to come.
“We’ll be back,” she said on Saturday night. “Labor will be back in Northcote, make no mistake.”
8 Photos of Badass Women Who Made Hatred Shrink in Their Presence
Inspiration to keep smiling in the face of hatred. Read More
Baller Kid Saves $300 for an XBox, Buys a Well for an Indian Village Instead
If your name's Josiah Shaffer, odds are you’re a Global Citizen. Read More
This Could Be Haiti’s First-Ever Oscar-Nominated Film, But It Faces Stiff Competition
“Ayiti Mon Amour” shines a new light on the embattled island. Read More