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Pakistani-born academic becomes Australia’s first Muslim female Senator

Pakistani-born academic becomes Australia’s first Muslim female Senator

MEHREEN Faruqi is hopeful her election will encourage non-white Australians


Published in Dawn, Aug 16th, 2018

KARACHI: At a time when Australia is caught up in a bitter row over racism, Pakistani-born Mehreen Faruqi became the first female Muslim member to be appointed to the Australian senate, reported BBC.

The Greens Party member of parliament for New South Wales was selected to join the Senate on Wednesday to fill a vacant seat. Following her appointment, Ms Faruqi told BBC that she would use her new role as senator to fight for a “positive future for Australia where we are stronger for our diversity”.

Dr Faruqi migrated from Pakistan to Australia in 1992 with her young family. Prior to entering politics she held a distinguished career as an academic and has a doctorate in environmental engineering, the BBC reported.

Mehreen along with her family migrated to Australia in 1992

This is the second milestone for the leader, as her election to the state parliament in 2013 made her the first Muslim woman to attain any political office in Australia.

In her leaving speech to the NSW parliament on Tuesday, she spoke about enduring toxic, racist and sexist trolling in her time as an MP “not because of what I’m doing but because of who I am, where I come from, and the colour of my skin”.


The BBC quoted Ms Faruqi’s article from a publication, where she wrote: “I could stand on Bondi Beach, serving sausage sangers in an Akubra, draped in an Australian flag with a southern cross tattoo and, for some, I still wouldn’t be Australian enough.”

Ms Faruqi said she was excited to bring “much needed diversity” to Canberra, and hoped her presence would encourage non-white Australians.

“The reality is our federal parliament doesn’t look anything like the streets and suburbs of Australia. Slowly but surely things are changing,” the report quoted her as saying.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2018

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