Protesters aiming to protect the Djab Wurrung trees from destruction by Vic Roads. Image: Chris Woods/Crikey

Lidia Thorpe first heard that sacred Djab Wurrung trees were set to be destroyed when she was still the Member for Northcote, a state seat in Melbourne's inner north.

Speaking to me earlier this year, the Gunnai-Kurnai and Gunditjmara grandmother explains that she was emailed by a number of non-Aboriginal groups in the area warning her of the proposed bulldozing by the Victorian government. Thorpe is a Djab Wurrung woman with an unbroken matriarchal line. Safe to say, the planned destruction of 800-year-old sacred women's trees piqued her interest.