Australia

‘Show some ambition’: Lidia Thorpe calls for First Nations Treaty in wake of Queen’s death

Victorian Greens senator Lidia Thorpe has demanded the federal government “show some ambition” by and becoming a republic in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
The Gunnai Gunditjmara and Djab Wurrung woman said she knew some people wanted her to “come out ranting and raving” about the Queen’s death so they could label her as a “crazy Blak woman”, but instead gave herself time to reflect.
In a series of tweets on Monday, she denounced the federal government’s decision to establish , saying the country’s political leaders have “shown zero regard” for First Nations people.
“I’ve seen our political leaders continue the oppressive narrative that continues to keep First People in this Country down,” she wrote.
“They’ve shown zero regard for us, or how we’re feeling, or the fact that we’ve been calling for Day of Mourning for over 80 years.”
The Greens senator has for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said a public holiday to mark the Queen’s death was an appropriate response for unity in the country.
“This is a time for unity of Australia as a nation, a time where we are grieving and acknowledging the contribution of Queen Elizabeth II as our head of state for 70 years,” Mr Albanese told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

“A one-off public holiday and a national day of mourning is an appropriate response that was agreed to by myself and the premiers and chief ministers.”

Senator Thorpe said Australia should use the Queen’s passing as an opportunity to establish its own democratically-elected head of state.
“The parliament and the prime minister are subjugated to someone we didn’t elect. We don’t need a new King, we need a head of state chosen by the people,” she wrote.

“The process towards being able to pick our own head of state would bring us all together – it would force us to tell the truth about our history and move us towards real action to right the wrongs that started with colonisation.”

But Senator Thorpe said before that occurred, a Treaty needed to be established with Australia’s First Nations people.
“Treaty is an end to the war. We have an opportunity to do things differently in this country. It’s time for the [government] to show some ambition,” she said.

“We could use this moment and momentum to empower people to democratically elect our own leader. Someone who represents all of us, uniting a country that has owned up to its past and chosen its own future.

“That unity would be more powerful than any King. But we must Treaty first.”
The prime minister has ruled out discussions around the country becoming a republic in his first term of government.
He said his main priority during his first term in government was to enact constitutional change by , which would encompass “voice, truth and treaty” if passed in a successful referendum.
“The Australian Labor Party’s position [on a republic] is clear. But this is a time where Australians expect their prime minister to act in accordance with the constitutional arrangements which are there in place now,” Mr Albanese said.
Senator Thorpe’s comments come just months after , raising her fist – often seen as a symbol of resistance – and branded the Queen a “coloniser” while referring to herself as “sovereign”.

She was then told to recite the oath of allegiance without the additional words.

File source

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