Senator Lidia Thorpe reminds us that the struggle for real change and justice continues and invites us to embark on a journey to Treaty
15 October 2023
Following a No outcome, Senator Lidia Thorpe reminds us that this is a win for the Blak Sovereign Movement, a win for the Sovereign rights of First Peoples to Self-Determine their own destiny, and do not wish to be part of the racist colonial constitution.
Senator Thorpe has presented a clear way forward for this country and encourages everyone, regardless of how they voted, to join her and the Blak Sovereign Movement on a journey of healing and Truth-telling, and to continue holding governments accountable to actually implement the changes first Peoples have been calling for for decades.
The government must pursue a rights-based approach, including aligning ourselves with international standards by implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), implementing in full the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Bringing Them Home report, and progressing Treaty.
These quotes are attributable to Senator Lidia Thorpe, Gunnai Gunditjmara and Djab Wurrung woman and Independent Victorian Senator representing the Blak Sovereign Movement:
“This result marks an end to the era of powerless advisory bodies. It is a win for the Blak Sovereign Movement and First Peoples who are fighting for justice and the protection of the Sovereignty of over 250 First Peoples language groups across this continent.”
“A large number of First Peoples voted no and have been against this referendum from the beginning. There were many others that voted no out of love and solidarity with First Peoples fighting for justice.”
“This referendum has caused nothing but harm to First Peoples. From the start I argued it shouldn’t happen before Truth and Treaty and I requested that the Prime Minister cancel the referendum once the degree of harm was clear.”
“It has been a disastrous political exercise that has wasted over $450 million during a cost of living crisis and a housing crisis.”
“This outcome presents us with a blank canvas, a chance to reset the power dynamics, take a seat at a new table together and talk about Sovereignty , land rights and Self-Determination.”
“There is a Plan B and it’s Treaty!”
“To all the grassroots mob, activists, and allies who have built up networks, Yes or No, in the name of advancing the rights of First Peoples: We must look beyond the division that the referendum has caused and come together to demand the justice necessary to rebuild, and nurture the strength and power of our communities.”
“Do not let this be the last time you engage with our struggle. Pour your time, energy and passion into understanding our history and Lore, amplifying our voices, and standing with our grassroots communities.”
“We must continue to pressure the federal government to begin Treaty-making, implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people and implement in full the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Bringing Them Home report that have been ignored for decades.”
“I call on the Prime Minister and the government to sit with me and the Blak Sovereign Movement to look at a way forward from here.”
“The Albanese government promised to pursue all three elements of the Statement from the Heart, and there is no excuse to delay Truth and Treaty any further.”
“Peace Treaties must be front and centre, with every one of our language groups to Self-Determine for themselves. State Treaties are not real Treaties, the Victorian Treaty process only allowed 11 of 38 language groups a seat at the table and with a state government not a proclaimed Sovereign.”