Firebrand Victorian senator Lidia Thorpe has revealed the subject of several tattoos on her left arm in a fiery address around the Voice referendum.
The tattoos depict the markings of Ms Thorpe’s Djab Wurrung ancestral matriarchs.
“I have my Djab Wurrung matriarchs always engraved in my body,” she told the National Press Club on Wednesday, raising her left arm.
Djab Wurrung country is located across central and western Victoria.
Thrope, a Djab Wurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman and former Greens senator, quit the minor party last year to advance Australia’s Blak Sovereign movement.
The independent senator subsequently announced in June she would be voting “No” in the upcoming referendum to enshrine an Indigenous advisory body to federal parliament in the constitiuion.
Speaking at the National Press Club, Ms Thorpe renewed her claims, arguing the upcoming referendum, due to be held in October, was not the right path forward.
“The Blak Sovereign movement has been consistent [in] the opposition of any form of constitutional recognition and this Voice to parliament.
“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 said
However, senator Thorpe confirmed she would not be actively campaigning against a “powerless voice”. Rather, she would focus instead on progressing treaties with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“Treaty provides us with an opportunity to put everything on the table. To reset the framework and heal.”
“Peace treaties must be front and centre with every one of our nations to self determine for themselves,” she said.