• "I felt that it was time to take my voice somewhere else," says Lidia Thorpe. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
Lidia Thorpe is poised to oust Labor from one of its traditional strongholds in the suburb of Melbourne in a looming state by-election.
Kirstyn Lindsay, NITV Staff Writer

13 Sep 2017 - 12:25 PM  UPDATED 15 Sep 2017 - 8:23 AM

Gunnai Gunditjimara woman Lidia Thorpe has been preselected as the Greens candidate for the Victorian seat of Northcote and stands a good chance of taking the seat from Labor if past voting trends repeat themselves.

If elected Ms Thorpe, who is the chair of the Victorian NAIDOC Committee, could be the first Aboriginal woman elected to parliament in Victoria.

A bi-election date for the inner Melbourne seat has yet to be announced but could take place at any moment due to the passing of MP Fiona Richardson. Labor has preselected Clare Burns, a union official and speech pathologist, who has already started campaigning.

Ms Thorpe said she joined the Greens because it aligns with her values as an Aboriginal woman.

“I’ve always campaigned for social justice and the environment and that comes naturally, caring for country and protecting country and I felt that it was time to take my voice somewhere else," she told NITV News.

"(I wanted to) take my voice somewhere else and join a political party such as the Greens which aligns with my values as an Aboriginal woman."

Monash University political scientist Zareh Ghazarian said some in the Greens are "quietly confident they could win this election."

"They performed quite well at the last election," he told AAP.

"If they were to maintain that and get a swag of preference deals that favours them, there's nothing stopping them from winning that seat."

The liberals have yet to announce if they will run a candidate but if they do then their preferences could prove crucial to victory in the seat.

Ms Thorpe said Treaty remained a major issue and said we can't talk about a Treaty in this state or country without bringing the rest of the population with us.

Her passion is to work towards a clan based treaty discussion in Victoria so all the clans in Victoria have the right to be self-determined whether they want to be a part of it or not.

“I’ve been born into a very political family so it comes naturally for me to stand up particularly for Aboriginal rights and Aboriginal people,” 

Northcote sits in the Darebin electorate, one of the councils in Melbourne's north that have cancelled Australia day celebrations from January 26.  

“I was involved in supporting that, absolutely. Darebin is a very progressive council and a very green community," said Ms Thorpe.

Both Ms Thorpe and Ms Burns have lived in the Darebin area for the past two decades.

Ms Richardson held the Northcote seat since 2006, had a six per cent margin and was well-liked by constituents.

She became Australia's first family violence prevention minister, but died aged 50 in August, just a day after revealing her battle with multiple tumours.

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