By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 8 April 2021: A webinar was held today on the under-representation of Asian-Australians in politics and how it can be overcome. Organized by the Asia Institute, Melbourne University, Asian-Australian politicians Gladys Liu MP, Federal Member for Chisholm, Kaushaliya Vaghela MP, State MP for Western Metro Region, and Daniel Long Nguyễn, Former Mayor of the City of Yarra.
The Asia Institute’s Dr. Surjeet Dhanji presented a summary of her recent research on some of the individual, community, and systemic barriers faced by Indian Australians seeking to enter politics. The welcome address was by Professor Andrew Rosser, Deputy Director and Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne, and the moderator was Melissa Conley Tyler, Research Fellow, Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne.
Many interesting facts and observations came up in the webinar. Dr. Surjeet Dhanji talked about the use of Asian-Australians as “election fodder” (offering them un-winnable seats) and the tough “hurdle” of pre-selection of candidates in Australian political parties.
Kaushaliya Vaghela MP revealed how the Little India trader’s issue in Dandenong pushed her into community activity and later politics. “I wanted to serve the community. So, I became an MP.”
Gladys Liu MP revealed her step-by-step entry into politics and then a Member of Parliament.
WATCH WEBINAR VIDEO BELOW:
- Inputs from the Melbourne Asia Review.