Gunnai-Kurnai and Gunditjmara woman Lidia Thorpe is set to lose her seat of Northcote following the Victorian State Election over the weekend.
As of Monday, 74 per cent of the votes had been counted, but some media outlets had already called it a victory for Labor candidate Kat Theophanous.
While disappointed, Ms Thorpe told NITV that she was looking forward to continuing her work as a staunch advocate for her community.
“I’m not going anywhere - this has made me more determined. I’ve had 12 months in parliament and I’ve seen some dodgy business happening, and I’ve seen some good stuff happen,” Ms Thorpe said.
“I’m a better person from that experience and I’m certainly more knowledgeable on how we can impact and make a difference on the system.”
She also plans to continue working alongside the Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group for a grassroots approach towards Treaty.
She also has big plans to open a ‘truth-telling museum’, which will see a First Nations perspective of the colonisation of our country.
“We don’t have one in this country that tells the true history of our people, starting with the Frontier Wars,” Ms Thorpe said.
“We need that and certainly the people of Northcote have been calling out for truth. No one has a place to go where they can get the true story from an Aboriginal perspective. That’s something I think is really important, not just for Victoria, but for this nation.”
She expects the project will cost $3 million, which she hopes to gather from various donors and contacts she has made during her time in Parliament.
As for her future in politics, she says she has not ruled out running at a state or federal level, but if she were to run for the latter, it would not be at the next federal election.
Setting the record straight
This morning ABC Radio Melbourne's Jon Faine suggested to Ms Thorpe that she had campaigned based on her Aboriginality.
While on air, Mr Faine read out a paraphrased version of a text message, which he said specifically addressed Ms Thorpe.
“Lidia Thorpe campaigned as if she deserved to be in parliament because she is Aboriginal instead of talking to the electorate. It was like you have to vote for me because of who I am,” he read.
“There are a couple of texts saying pretty much the same thing,” he added, before aggressively arguing with Ms Thorpe that her campaign material displayed the Aboriginal flag.
However, Ms Thorpe pointed out that it did not contain the flag, it simply used the same colours.
Ms Thorpe told NITV that while she acknowledges being Aboriginal is part of who she is, it’s not all she is.
“We have white people talking for us, so it is important that Aboriginal people are represented in Parliament,” she said.
“But that’s not all I am. I happen to be Aboriginal, and I’m very proud to be Aboriginal and I will stand up for our people and our country.
“But there were a whole lot of other things that I ran on as well. So, for Faine to say that I solely ran on the fact that I’m Aboriginal is incorrect.”
While proud of her background, Ms Thorpe said her electorate voted for her because she was a credible candidate, not because of her cultural heritage.
“The community in Northcote voted for me last year, because yes, I am Aboriginal but also that I’ve got a good track record of standing up for my people and standing up for the community, and standing up for the environment,” she said.
“Pulling out the Aboriginal card or the race card, well it always creates a good headline doesn’t it?”