Lidia Thorpe

An Australian senator of Aboriginal origin has said the country’s planned referendum on an Indigenous “voice” to parliament is just “window dressing” and should be called off. 

Lidia Thorpe, who is an independent Australian senator and one of the most prominent Aboriginal politicians, voiced her opposition to the proposal at the National Press Club in Sydney on August 16.

“The voice is the window-dressing for constitutional recognition,” she told reporters, News Corporation reported. “This is just another attempt by a colonial government to make clear that it has power over us, and force its rules upon us,” she added.

Thorpe, who is from the Gunditjmara Aboriginal Victorian group, happens to be the granddaughter of the Indigenous matriarch Alma Thorpe. Voicing her opposition she further added that the referendum should be called off.


“It has caused nothing but harm and division. And, for what? There won’t be change until this society changes. Until this society’s thinking, values, attitudes and systems have been revolutionized in order to ensure real self-determination, we cannot continue the legacy of the Australian colony.”

Indigenous Australians who have been living in the country for thousands of years have been struggling for generations to get recognition. The population has suffered since European colonization, which had a devastating impact on Aboriginal communities and cultures.

The British colonizers subjected the native Australians to mass killings, forced displacement, and their traditional lands were grabbed in the name of family protection, integration, and civilization. (