• Noongar Yamatji woman, mother and anti-violence advocate, Dorinda Cox, could be the first Aboriginal Senator for the WA Greens. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
The WA Greens have announced Noongar Yamatji woman and anti-violence advocate, Dorinda Cox, as their lead Senate candidate in the next federal election.
Shahni Wellington

21 Oct 2020 - 4:42 PM  UPDATED 21 Oct 2020 - 4:42 PM

Yamatji and Noongar anti-violence advocate, Dorinda Cox, could become Western Australia’s first female Aboriginal Senator, if constituents continue to vote in her favour. 

Ms Cox has won the three week pre-selection contest to replace retiring Senator Rachel Siewert, who has previously been the Greens spokesperson on First Nations Peoples' Issues.

The ballot was open to all members in the state and decided who would occupy the top spot on the party’s ticket in the next federal election.

She had previously run as the Greens candidate for Fremantle in the 2018 by-election.

After beating ex state MP, Lynn MacLaren, and WA Greens state director, Sophie Greer, this time around - Dorinda Cox said she was proud to take out the nomination. 

"I learned so much about the other two ladies, but also about myself, and just the strength and resilience that it takes - You really have to dig deep in that three weeks of campaigning and what that requires, although I've been a candidate before for the Greens, it's a different experience when you're running for a Senate seat," Ms Cox told NITV News.

While the next federal election isn't expected until next year, Dorinda Cox is on the campaign trail. 

High on her political agenda is to work toward a Treaty with First Nations peoples' and to establish a national strategy for family safety. 

Working in anti-violence for the past two decades has lamented for Ms Cox the need to advocate for a federal inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

"Indigenous First Nations, women in this country are going missing at alarming rates and we're not actually doing anything to find them, which is for me, beyond my belief, and so we need to think about why this is happening and what we can do to change that," Ms Cox said.

"I think a national inquiry will look at both practice within the justice system, in particular policing, and to look at how do we change those systems? How do we dismantle them? And how do we make change that's going to benefit people?"

'Turning point' for Aboriginal representation

The ballot victory for Dorinda Cox comes weeks after Gunnai-Kurnai/Gunditjmara and DjabWurrung woman, Lidia Thorpe, became the first Aboriginal Victorian Senator for the Greens.

Ms Cox calls it a 'turning point' for Australian politics to potentially have two Aboriginal women in the Senate. 

"The Westminster system operates and does its own thing for us, rather than us being actively engaged in that.

"So I think it's really important for us to understand the power that we have, as First Nations people in this country and to harness that and to harness that grassroots movement to to make sure that we are politically active," Dorinda Cox said. 

Ms Cox is a small business owner and has previously worked as a police officer for eight years.

The next federal election must be held before 3 September 2022.

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