Australian news, and some related international items

Lidia Thorpe, Victoria’s first Aboriginal woman Member of Parliament speaks out

State’s first Aboriginal woman MP Lidia Thorpe speaks of genocide, lingering disadvantage, The Age, 29 Nov 17, Adam Carey  “…… Ms Thorpe, who replaced Labor’s Fiona Richardson as member for Northcote following the late minister’s death from cancer in August, began her speech with a statement of defiance on behalf of Victoria’s Aboriginal people, noting that they “have never ceded sovereignty”.

“Being Aboriginal is not all I am, but it’s the centre of who I am,” Ms Thorpe said.

“My mother’s family lived their lives as refugees in their own country, on Gunnai land in Gippsland.

 “They were poisoned, shot and herded off cliffs in one of the most ruthless and systematic attempted genocides the world has ever seen.”

Ms Thorpe told Parliament she would fight to put Indigenous people at the heart of political decision-making, in a fiery speech that coincided with the release of a troubling report that revealed Victoria is struggling to close the gap of disadvantage between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians……..

Ms Thorpe paid tribute to “the strong line of Aboriginal women before me”, especially her grandmother Alma Thorpe, a prominent Indigenous health activist, who watched from the front row of the public gallery.

Lidia Thorpe was sworn in as an MP on Tuesday, the day Victoria’s annual report into Indigenous wellbeing was tabled in Parliament. ……….

Ms Thorpe’s first speech also made reference to the modern-day impact of historical dispossession.

“In Victoria in 2017, Aboriginal children are still being removed from families, and our literacy rates are among the lowest in the state,” she said.

“Our people are locked up at a rate 11 times higher than the general population. This is not because of fundamental flaws in their character but because of a system that has written them off.”

November 30, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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