According to SBS News, 71% of Australians want a more diverse parliament. Yet, with only 5 Indigenous, 22 born overseas and 9 with non-European speaking parents across 227 seats, Australia’s Parliament still does not fairly and equally represent our diverse and multicultural nation.
In 2018, the New York Times noted that In a Proudly Diverse Australia, White People Still Run Almost Everything. In the article, Tim Soutphommasane, Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner said “Although those who have non-European and Indigenous backgrounds make up an estimated 24 percent of the Australian population, such backgrounds account for only 5 percent of senior leaders. Put another way, about 95 percent of senior leaders in Australia have an Anglo-Celtic or European background.”
In response to this inequity, co-founders of Women's Business Kat Henaway & Kriti Colless recently launched Politics in Colour: Candid Conversations Series, which was created to inspire people from all Australian communities, particularly those under-represented in politics, to consider a different kind of leadership.
For their first event, featuring women in political leadership, Women for Election Australia proudly partnered with Women's Business with the aim of inspiring and equipping more Women of Colour to consider running for public office.
For future events including culturally diverse and LGBTQI+ politicians, as well as parliamentarians living with disabilities, like @WomensBiz.
Politics in Colour: Candid Conversations – On being a woman, MP and Indigenous or Culturally & Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
SHADOW MINISTER LINDA BURNEY
Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services and Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians. As a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation, Ms Burney MP was first elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly at the 2003 election, and was the first Aboriginal person to be elected to the NSW Parliament and the first Aboriginal woman to serve in the Australian House of Representatives. She is the longest serving Indigenous female politician in Australia's history.
SENATOR MEHREEN FARUQI
Greens Senator for NSW and Spokesperson for Education, Housing, Industry and Animal Welfare. Dr Faruqi became the first Muslim woman to sit in any Australian parliament when she joined the NSW Parliament in 2013. She is a civil and environmental engineer and a life-long activist for social and environmental justice.
MS JENNY LEONG MP
Member for Newtown in the NSW State Parliament and the Greens NSW spokesperson for Multiculturalism and Human Rights. First elected in 2015, she is a passionate advocate for equality, justice, and human rights – and has a long track record of standing up and speaking out against racism, sexism, discrimination and the politics of fear.
MS KAUSHALIYA VAGHELA MP
Member of the Legislative Council for the Western Metropolitan Region in Victoria and a member of the Australian Labor Party. She is the first Indian-born Member of Parliament to be elected to the Victorian Parliament and the first Indian-born Hindu to enter any Parliament in Australia. Kaushaliya is a firm believer in family values and stands for the development of infrastructure for the people of the West.
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