Alister Thorpe

Alister Thorpe, Member for the Metropolitan region

Proud Gunai, Yorta Yorta and Gunditjmara

“I acknowledge all our past strong Aboriginal leaders whose commitment provided this generation with this opportunity.”

Metropolitan region Member Alister Thorpe is aware of the legacy of his ancestors.

“My role in the Assembly is a continuation of their work,” he suggests. “The opportunity for our nations to shape the way treaties are negotiated is an important step. I want to make sure we do it right recognising the rights of all our nations.”

Mr Thorpe is also aware of the importance of the Assembly’s work.

“Our people have endlessly struggled for our rights,” he says. “We have been political activists and protesters.

“The First Peoples’ Assembly is the culmination of years of tireless campaigning for sovereignty, self-determination, and recognition.”

It is reasons like those that Mr Thorpe nominated to stand in the Assembly election.

“I wanted to contribute to a framework that gives all First Nations the opportunity to negotiate a Treaty on their own terms,” he says. “Treaties must sustain our identity, protect cultural heritage, strengthen connection to country, and fulfill the aspirations of our nations.”

Mr Thorpe says the Assembly has achieved much in its first term so far, but emphasises there’s still a lot of work ahead.

“We have made some significant decisions, including the development of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission truth-telling process, Stolen Generations reparations, and the development of a model to admit additional Traditional
Owner groups to the Assembly,” he explains.

To the broader community, he has a simple message, and it is a positive one.

“We must create a pathway to full representation. An equal voice. A stronger collective voice,” he says.

“The outcomes of Treaties will flow out beyond the Aboriginal community and benefit everyone in the broader community. Treaties will provide opportunities for all of us to reimagine our future.”

Inaugural speech