• Celeste Liddle has been preselected as the Greens candidate for the Melbourne seat of Cooper. (AAP)Source: AAP
If the run is successful, Ms Liddle could become first First Nations woman to enter the House of Representatives from Victoria.
Jodan Perry

14 May 2021 - 2:41 PM  UPDATED 14 May 2021 - 2:54 PM

Arrernte woman, unionist, feminist and prominent writer Celeste Liddle has been announced as the Victorian Greens candidate for Cooper for the next federal election.

She will attempt to oust Labor's Ged Kearney from the inner-Melbourne seat, which the party has held since 1934. It was previously known as Batman.

If successful, Ms Liddle would become first First Nations woman to enter the House of Representatives from Victoria.

"We are born political, and we have to fight for our existence from the time that we arrive in this world," she told NITV News.

"The more voices that we have in there representing those views and challenging the status quo for a sheer presence, if not through what we say, the better."



Ms Liddle has lived in the area for almost 20 years and said she never had political aspirations until the COVID-19 pandemic began.

She said after watching the hard work that our people did to keep communities safe, and also witnessing the struggles people have gone through over the past 14 months, it was time to put herself forward to try and affect some change.

"I have done a lot of activism that's been more community and grassroots and asking the hard questions from the outside," she said.

"Even being so invested in higher education, I was a uni student last year and I have worked in the sector for a long time and seeing the struggles that we went through, it made me want to stand up and do something."

The seat of Cooper was previously known as Batman until 2018, and is named after legendary Yorta Yorta activist William Cooper. The division has one of the highest First Nations populations in the state. 

"It was named (Batman) after a bloke that led a massacre through Tasmania, and changing the name was just so important. This is an area where that history is so embedded," she said.

"It's pretty amazing to have the legacy of someone like Cooper hanging over this seat and to be able to try and represent it, in the staunch and compassionate way that he did."