The elegant protester alongside Senator Lidia Thorpe who became an instant fashion icon with her NOT sunglasses is a former ABC journalist who won a Walkley grant.
Jennetta Quinn-Bates, 29, cut a striking figure this week in a gorgeous dress in the colors of the Aboriginal flag, paired with a simple pearl necklace and her chic protest shades.
She was one of the supporters of the Blak Sovereign Movement who stood by the ex-senator from the Greens on Tuesday as she reaffirmed her opposition to The Voice to Parliament.
Ms Quinn-Bates – who has a tattoo on her shoulder that reads: ‘Stars can’t shine without darkness’ – was Ms Thorpe’s media adviser for a short time before leaving the role in April.
But she still stood by her former boss during Tuesday’s fiery press conference in Canberra, where protesters clashed with journalists, and was at one point seen whispering advice in the senator’s ear.
The elegant protester alongside Senator Lidia Thorpe who became an instant fashion icon with her NO sunglasses is Walkley grant-winning former ABC journalist Jennetta Quinn-Bates
Jennetta Quinn-Bates cut a striking figure in her beautiful dress in the colors of the Aboriginal flag, paired with a simple pearl necklace and her chic protest shades
The black rights activist and Barkandji woman won the first Walkley Young Indigenous scholarship in 2019 while working with ABC TV in Alice Springs
The black rights activist and Barkandji woman won the first Walkley Young Indigenous scholarship in 2019 while working with ABC TV in Alice Springs.
The award saw her move to Sydney to work with Network Ten and the Junkee website before moving on to SBS and NITV, and later into Canberra politics.
Her social media features photos of her with media personalities including ABC chairman Ita Buttrose, former Q+A host Stan Grant, and talkback legend John Laws.
But it also shows her with Indigenous elders and prominent Aboriginal politicians, including Warren Mundine and Ken Wyatt, representing opposing sides of The Voice debate.
Her Indigenous roots come from Broken Hill in Central West NSW until her father and his siblings were taken from their family as part of the Stolen Generation when he was just six.
The youngsters grew up in a church-run children’s home in Muswellbrook in the NSW Hunter Valley, where her parents met through Mrs Quinn-Bates’s grandmother who worked there.
‘My father was brought up with little knowledge of our traditional culture, but always told me to be proud!’ she posted on Instagram.
Throughout her life, she has been a staunch advocate for Indigenous and LBGQTI rights, which has come into even greater focus in the run-up to the Voice referendum.
Jenetta Quinn-Bates’ social media features photos of her with media personalities, including ABC Chairman Ita Buttrose (pictured with Ms. Quinn-Bates)
Jenetta Quinn-Bates was also photographed with Q+A host Stan Grant and his ABC sportswriter wife Tracey Holmes, Ten news anchor Hugh Riminton and wife Mary Lloyd.
Jennetta Quinn-Bates (pictured) began her TV career at the ABC in Alice Springs
Even before Senator Thorpe had made her stance on the Voice, Mrs. Quinn-Bates—known to her closest as Netta—had vowed to fight and vote against.
While still working for the senator, she clarified that her opinion did not speak for the controversial politician who had yet to define her own position.
She claims Indigenous leaders such as Professor Megan Davis – a former UN lawyer who helped write the Uluru Declaration from the Heart – have silenced Indigenous grassroots voices.
“Remember, Professor Megan Davis, who admitted dialogues for Voice To Parliament and Statement From The Heart, deliberately excluded community leaders/grassroots movement leaders etc,” she recently tweeted.
Jennetta Quinn-Bates was seen in the ear of Senator Lidia Thorpe (pictured) during a press conference Tuesday
“This is as disrespectful as it gets when you try to speak for us. Leaders are determined BY US!’
She added: ‘This is a problem that will only get worse as we enter territory like ‘Voice to Parliament’ where a handful of people will speak for all of us and ‘represent’ our views.
“I have no confidence that they will be well rehearsed. Those who disagree will again be slandered and silenced.”
In another tweet, she added, “Please don’t be afraid to let us hear from those who disagree with the Uluru statement.
“It would be really refreshing and beneficial for everyone to hear opposing views from First Nations people.”
Although her time with Senator Thorpe was short officially, Ms. Quinn-Bates repeatedly praised her boss in tweets.
“My boss gave me a Parker pen with a personalized coffee mug for Christmas,” she posted in December 2022.
‘I feel quite special! I just got a headache from my previous boss!’
Jennetta Quinn-Bates is a staunch advocate of Indigenous and LBGQTI rights
Jenetta Quinn-Bates showed off her spectacular style at Mardi Gras in Sydney
Jenetta Quinn-Bates had spells on camera with SBS and NITV before entering Canberra politics
Last week, Senator Thorpe was criticized for wearing a t-shirt in the Senate that read Gammin – a slang word for fake.
But in March, Ms. Quinn-Bates praised the senator for allowing her to use the word in a press release.
“Yesterday Lidia sent me a press release calling the government gammin,” she tweeted at the time.
She had me respond to a media outlet asking racist questions and say “we don’t respond to racist rhetoric,” and today she called my writing perfect.
“Senator Thorpe is the best boss ever.”
Although she left the Senator’s office several days later, she remains close to the Senator who is now an independent since she left the Greens to represent Blak’s sovereign movement.
Both now want the Voice referendum to fail in favor of a treaty and sovereign rights for First Nations people in Australia.
They believe that accepting the vote would be tantamount to assimilation to white colonization and maintain that Australia’s Indigenous people never relinquished sovereignty.
According to her tweets, she believes the vote would be powerless — and is just an expensive indulgent exercise to appease white guilt.
Jenetta Quinn-Bates (pictured) has been mixing Indigenous things throughout her life, including this swimsuit with elements of the Aboriginal flag
Jenetta Quinn-Bates promoted jewelry from native company Mami Watt Collections on her Instagram feed last year in a series of posts
Jenetta Quinn-Bates takes on politics with fashion in her Instagram feed, modeling a striking gold dress in her most recent post from earlier this month
“Appalling decision by LABOR to spend MILLIONS on a referendum during a cost of living crisis,” she added online.
“Don’t Albo think Blackfullas has enough to do, like try to survive, without adding a campaign dripping with racism?”
But in her Instagram feed, she mixes politics with fashion — and in her most recent post, she models a striking gold dress from earlier this month.
She captioned it: “Media can silence grassroots voices – but they can’t silence fashion DARLING.”
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ms Quinn Bates for comment.