A mild drama ensued in the Australian parliament when an Aboriginal activist referred to the Queen as a ‘coloniser’ as she was sworn in as an elected Australian senator.
Dressed in black, Lidia Thorpe marched across the floor of the Senate in Canberra and mockingly recited her version of the oath of allegiance to the Queen of England who is also the head of Australia government.
With her right fist in the air in a Black Power salute, the Green party senator recited: ‘I sovereign, Lidia Thorpe, do solemnly and sincerely swear that I will be faithful and I bear true allegiance to the colonising Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.’
Other senators voiced a muted criticism, Labour’s Senate president Sue Lines told the Lidiar: ‘You are required to recite the oath as printed on the card. Please recite the oath.’
The 48-year-old who has Aboriginal and European ancestry, reluctantly repeated the oath as printed. Amid the commotion another senator was heard to say: ‘None of us like it.’
Thorpe later tweeted “sovereignty never ceded” as she shared a photo of her swearing-in.
There is growing support for the nation to sever ties with the monarchy, particularly now that a new Labour prime minister, Anthony Albanese, believes the time is ripe for a move towards becoming a republic.
He has even appointed a minister of the republic, but a referendum would have to be held before anything could move forward.