'I packed my bags and walked away.' 6 things we learnt from Lidia Thorpe's 60 Minutes interview.

Content warning: This story mentions domestic violence and assault, and may be distressing to some readers. 

Lidia Thorpe has been making headlines over the past few months.

On Sunday, the Victorian Senator sat down with Karl Stefanovic on 60 Minutes to discuss her decision to leave the Greens, her thoughts on the Voice to Parliament and her recent ban from a Melbourne strip club. 

"There's no bullshit with me. What you see is what you get. I'm not perfect," the 49-year-old told Stefanovic at the start of the interview. 

"I’m not a career politician. I’m not there to be a big shot."

Instead, she says she's simply someone who "calls it for what it is".

"I’m not this angry, crazy black woman out there that hates white people. It’s just not who I am," she said.

"I have a fire that burns in [my] belly every single day... That fire will never go out."

Here are six of the biggest takeaways from Senator Thorpe's 60 Minutes interview. 

1. Lidia Thorpe fell pregnant at 17 after leaving school. 

Before she held a seat at Parliament House, Senator Thorpe grew up in government housing in Melbourne.

At 14, she left school and three years later, she fell pregnant.

As a young mother, Senator Thorpe began raising her own family in government housing, where she was the target of abuse. 


"I suppose I was used to violence from my first relationships, that I just kept getting back up," Senator Thorpe told Stefanovic.

The 49-year-old later walked away from a toxic marriage and declared bankruptcy in 2013 - it was "the best decision" she ever made. 

"Even though I lost everything I worked for... I walked away with my car, packed my bag and the rest is history."


2. Thorpe claims racism exists in the Greens. 

The Victorian Senator announced her decision to resign from the Greens and become an independent in February.

Speaking about the move, Senator Thorpe said she left the party "for a number of reasons". However, it had nothing to do with her not being a team player.

"As a political party, the Greens are no different to Labor and the Coalition parties where racism does exist," she said. 

"Inside the Greens?" asked Stefanovic. 

"Inside the Greens," Senator Thorpe responded. "From places that should know better."

3. Thorpe will quit politics.

Towards the end of the interview, Thorpe announced she will quit politics when her term comes to an end in 2028. 

"I love my job. And I’ve been able to make big changes in the short time I’ve been there. I don’t intend on running again," she said.

"I'm 50 next month... I don't want to become a crusty old politician with old daggy ideas... We need younger people coming in with fresh ideas, it's there future."

4. Thorpe believes the Voice to Parliament 'Yes' vote won't succeed.

When asked about the upcoming Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum, Senator Thorpe predicted the proposed Voice wouldn't "get up". 

"Look, unfortunately, it is a powerless advisory body. It’s not going to make a difference," she said. 

"I’m part of the progressive no and that’s because we want more... Then you have, what seems to be quite a racist narrative out there, and they talk more about what Aboriginal people are going to take away from you." 


When Stefanovic pointed out that Senator Thorpe is "on the same team" as 'No' voters, she responded, "No, I’m not".

"On this debate, the problem is that we are not allowed to say no, otherwise we’re put in the racist no camp. That’s not fair."

"We are not one homogenous group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We’re allowed to think differently and we are allowed to say, 'No, that it is not enough'."


5. Thorpe says she has experienced 'inappropriate touching'.

Last month, Senator Thorpe used parliamentary privilege to accuse fellow Senator David Van of sexual assault.

During the interview, Senator Thorpe said he's not the only man in Parliament who has crossed the line. 

"There have been a number of occasions where there have been touches inappropriately that I haven't given permission for and have raised it," she said. 

"It’s like an attitude that’s acceptable. 'That’s just such and such. He always does that. He’s just like that'.... I kinda just sucked it up. A big job to do, I find sometimes, and a way to hold me back. to deal with that before in my life. But I do put faith into those processes."

Van has denied acting inappropriately towards Senator Thorpe.

6. Thorpe on being banned from a strip club. 

Senator Thorpe also addressed the infamous strip club incident, which saw her yell at a group of men outside Maxine Strip Club in Melbourne, and be banned for life. 

"You’re a senator! What are you doing in a strip club?’" Stefanovic asked.

"You know, I was going to do it senator-style. I should have booked a proper seat. And it wasn’t until we left, walking out the door, that I was verbally abused."


"The one thing I did do wrong is I reacted to someone else’s bad behaviour when I probably shouldn’t have."

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. 

Feature Image: Channel Nine.

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