Lidia Thorpe entered the Senate Chamber of Parliament House in Canberra this morning draped in a traditional possum skin cloak and brandishing a message stick with etching that represented the 441 First Nations deaths in custody, before being sworn in and becoming the first Aboriginal person elected to the Senate to represent Victoria.
The Gunai-Kurnai & Gunditjmara woman had already met with Canberra's Traditional Owners, members of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, her supporters and media before entering the Chamber for the ceremony.
“I’m going in there to continue the fight that I’ve always fought and that is the fight for our people to fight this system and to change this system so that it’s better for everybody,” she said.
Ms Thorpe said she won’t just be fighting for her own community but for all of those battling right now.
“Look at how our old people are being treated in this country right now. How many Elders and old people have we lost because of this system? How many are homeless, how many people are hungry? It's got to stop," she said.
Ms Thorpe also touched on other areas of policy focus such as the environment and economic equality.
Ms Thorpe is replacing former Senator for Victoria, Richard Di Natale, who resigned from that post and leader of the Greens earlier this year after five years in those roles.
Thorpe, a businesswoman and Indigenous Rights Advocate was also the first Aboriginal Woman elected to Victorian State Parliament back in 2017.