IMAGE: Lidia Thorpe ABC Interview (ABC News)
Independent senator Lidia Thorpe says she would like an audience with King Charles III before his coronation in May.
The former Greens senator formally announced her resignation from the minor party on Monday, citing constraints within the party and a desire to amplify First Nations voices through the Blak Sovereignty Movement.
In her first interview since quitting the federal Greens, Thorpe, a staunch critic of colonisation and the Crown told ABC TV she would like an audience with the King before her time in office ends.
When asked if the move to the crossbench had killed the senator’s chances of getting re-elected, Thorpe seemed unbothered, saying the life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is considerably lower than that of their non-Indigenous counterparts.
“I’m 50 this year and in five and a half years, I’ll be 55 and a half,” Senator Thorpe said.
“If you look at our life expectancy for black women, particularly, how many black activists who have held the front line all of their life, live a long life?
“I’m happy to do my five and a half years and do as much as I can for my people.”
Thorpe expressed her interest in meeting King Charles, saying she’d be on the first plane to England to advocate for a Treaty between First Nations people and the Commonwealth if he agreed to meet ahead of his coronation.
“I really want to meet with the King, I’m a senator, surely I can do that,” she told ABC TV.
“We need a treaty. It’s his ancestors that caused this pain and I’m happy to sit down and negotiate.”
The Gunnai, Gunditjmara, and Djab Wurrung senator foreshadowed she would be making further announcements in the coming weeks to allow sovereign people to have a say.
She also questioned why the opposition leader Peter Dutton was invited by the prime minister and the government to meet with the referendum working group and engagement groups but not the grassroots Black sovereign movement.
“I’ve never been invited. I’ll put that out there to the prime minister and the minister for Indigenous Australians that the black sovereignty grassroots movement wants to meet with the two advisory groups that Labor set-up.”
Senator Thorpe has previously stated she would not reveal her stance on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament just yet, saying she would continue negotiations with the government.