Lidia Thorpe has been scolded for wearing a T-shirt into Parliament brandishing an Indigenous slogan in order to make a point about the Aboriginal Voice to Parliament.
As the senate heard the final reading of Anthony Albanese’s Constitutional Alteration Bill – which will pave the way for the referendum later this year – the Indigenous senator wore a white shirt with the word ‘Gammin’ printed across the front.
The word is Indigenous slang for ‘fake’.
‘That’s what I think a powerless Voice is to this place. Gammin. Fake, pretend, a joke,’ she said in a far-reaching statement criticising the King, white supremacy and her colleagues.
Ms Thorpe said she has ‘infiltrated’ parliament with a plan to ‘rattle the cages to destroy white supremacy represented in this place’.
She will vote ‘No’ in protest of the ‘token advisory’ body the Government has proposed, telling the Senate: ‘happy assimilation day everybody.’
Up until this point, Ms Thorpe had publicly considered abstaining from the vote, and urged the government to make changes to ensure real change.
The Victorian senator wore a white t-shirt with the word ‘Gammin’ printed across the front, which translates to ‘fake’
Primarily, she is campaigning for a treaty and does not want the focus to be on the constitution, which she described as an ‘illegal document’.
‘It’s illegal,’ she said several times. ‘The occupation was illegal. You’re following the King. The King? The King’s position is to wipe us out.
‘We’re a problem, we’re certainly a problem to this mob,’ she said, looking around the chamber in the Senate. ‘We’re just a problem that needs to be fixed all the time.’
In a fiery speech during the final reading of the Constitutional Alteration Bill on Monday, Ms Thorpe said she was ‘ashamed’ of the push for a Voice to Parliament.
‘Poor little black fellas are begging for a seat at the table and all we get is to become advisors. No power,’ she said.
‘We are begging like paupers to go into a white, racist, colonial constitution that was set up to deny everything that we are. To destroy everything as quickly as they could… to dispossess us.
‘There is not one law in this country that has ever been good for us, not one. And now we’re being asked to accept a powerless voice.’
Ms Thorpe went on to slam Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has campaigned for Constitutional recognition since before he was elected
Ms Thorpe will vote ‘No’ in protest of the ‘token advisory’ body the Government has proposed, telling the Senate: ‘happy assimilation day everybody.’
Ms Thorpe went on to slam Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has campaigned for Constitutional recognition since before he was elected.
Mr Albanese has identified the Voice to Parliament as a hallmark of his leadership, vowing from election night to bring a referendum to the people of Australia.
Australians will be asked to vote in a referendum later in the year, likely October.
But Ms Thorpe said ‘Albo has no guts’ and ‘does not have the courage to come out and say he wants a treaty’.
‘I hope the Voice is going to tell Parliament they’ve got to stop killing our people, they’ve got to stop the suicides, assimilating us into their system.
‘You are completely Gammin, fake, not genuine. You wave your flag, wear your deadly black earrings and feel good about it.’
The Senate has just voted on the bill, which passed with an absolute majority of 52-19.
‘You are completely Gammin, fake, not genuine. You wave your flag, wear your deadly black earrings and feel good about it,’ Ms Thorpe said
In a fiery speech during the final reading of the Constitutional Alteration Bill on Monday, Ms Thorpe said she was ‘ashamed’ of the push for a Voice to Parliament
Lidia Thorpe slammed ‘white supremacy’ in parliament
Only those who vote ‘No’ are allowed to work on the official essay which will be contained in an official referendum pamphlet set to be sent to every Australian home at least two weeks before the vote.
The pamphlet will contain two essays up to 2,000 words long arguing the cases for and against the Voice to Parliament.
Labor’s message is that a vote ‘from the heart’ will give Indigenous Australians equal footing and opportunity to provide input on matters which directly impact their lives.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has long said it is a ‘modest’ request of the Australian public, noting he feels a personal responsibility to see his promise through to Indigenous communities who ‘have waited so long’.
The Voice to Parliament ‘will be a permanent body to make representations to the Australian Parliament and the Executive Government on legislation and policy of significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,’ the government says.
‘It will further the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by giving them a greater say on matters that affect them.’
What we know about the Voice to Parliament so far
Here, Daily Mail Australia looks at some of the key questions about the Voice so far, and how the government has tackled them:
What kind of advice can the Voice provide the Parliament and Government?
The Voice will advise on matters that directly relate to Indigenous people.
It will respond to requests made by the government, while also having the power to engage proactively on matters that they believe impact them.
The group will have its own resources to research matters and engage with communities at a grassroots level to ensure it is best reflecting their needs.
How will members of the Voice be chosen?
Members of the Voice will be appointed by Indigenous communities and will serve on the committee for a fixed period of time, yet to be determined.
The way the communities choose their representatives will be agreed upon by the local communities in tandem with the government as part of a ‘post referendum process’ to ensure cultural legitimacy.
Who can become a member of the committee?
Members of the Voice must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
They will be chosen from across each state and territory and have balanced gender representation nationally.
The government has also guaranteed that young people will be included in the committee to ensure representation across the broad scope of the community.
Will the Voice be transparent?
The government states the Voice will be subject to scrutiny and reporting requirements to ensure it is held accountable and remains transparent.
Voice members will be held to standards of the National Anti-Corruption Commission and will be sanctioned or removed from the committee if there are any findings of misconduct.
Will the Voice have veto power?
Will the Voice work independently of other government bodies?
The committee must respect the work and role of existing organisations, the government says.
Will the Voice handle any funds?
The Voice will not directly manage any money or deliver any services to the community.
Its sole role will be in making representations about improving existing government programs and services, and advising on new ideas coming through the parties.