• Saturday, February 24, 2024


Three Indian-origin candidates in fray to succeed giant MP in Australia senate

They are Dave Sharma, Pallavi Sinha and Ishita Sethi, each achievers in their respective fields.

Australian national flag (iStock)

By: Shubham Ghosh

COME November 26 and the rank and file of the Australian Liberal Party will see the preselection of the successor to Marise Payne, the country’s longest-serving woman senator (1997-2023) who announced her retirement from politics in September. While speculation is rife over who would fill the former foreign minister’s giant shoes, several candidates are in the fray, including three who are of Indian origin.

They are Dave Sharma, Pallavi Sinha and Ishita Sethi.

Presently, there is not a single Liberal parliamentarian of Indian origin. The ruling Labour has two Indian-origin parliamentarians.

Sharma is a former MP from Wentworth in New South Wales and a diplomat. A law graduate from the University of Cambridge, he has chaired and worked with a number of technology firms that are publicly listed. The 47-year-old Canadian-born of Indian origin has also been the chair of the parliament’s joint standing committee on treaties and the foreign affairs and aid subcommittee.

Before getting elected to the parliament (2019-22), Sharma, who is father of three daughters, was an Australian ambassador and diplomat who served in Israel, US and Papua New Guinea.

Sinha is a lawyer and notary public who has won multiple awards and was selected in the prestigious AFR and Westpac 100 Women of Influence. She studied economics and law at Sydney University and worked with communities besides public and private sectors. She is also actively involved in advocacy work in areas such as gender, education and small ventures.

Invited as the first Indian Australian woman to join Saxton Speakers Bureau, Sinha has been associated with the Liberals for a long time and got No.12 spot in the New South Wales parliament’s Upper House elections in 2019.

The Sydney-born leader served as the vice president of Australia India Business Council and is experienced in developing relationships with partners in the Indo-Pacific, particularly India.

Sethi is a barrister, business owner and academic who was born in India but shifted to Australia with her parents in the early 1980s.

“She has a track record of successfully representing individuals, high wealth private groups, small to medium business enterprises, large corporates, Not-For-Profit organisations and government agencies including the ATO and Revenue NSW,” says her LinkedIn profile.

“Her experience spans a broad range of areas including all aspects of direct and indirect tax and revenue law including income tax, CGT, FBT, land tax, stamp duty, payroll tax, Covid-19 related initiatives such as Cash Flow Boost and SMSFs.”

Sethi feels Australia needs a fresh start as a country and that she has the necessary skills, experience and tenacity to deliver on that front.

People of Indian origin constitute more than three per cent of Australia’s population and Indians are among the fastest-growing migrant communities in the country.

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