A major problem within Australian politics is the issue of representation, not just on gender, but also on cultural, religious, sexuality and disabilities. Both cultural and religious representation is always overlooked and often ignored or forgotten – no matter how many times this issue is bought up. And to further narrow this down, and to fulfill the purpose of this post and site, the number of Asian Australian elected representatives and Senators is even less, almost dismal. As Australia inches towards its next Federal Election, it will be interesting to see how the numbers fair. Currently, federally, we have 4 Asian Australians in Parliament out of a total of 226 ( MPs + Senators) which amounts to around 1.76%.
Considering the population of Asian Australians in Australia, it is an extremely low percentage in terms of representation. The numbers on a state level are not so different, and it will be interesting to see how things go after mid May ( after Federal Elections). Anyways, for this post, we will list all the representatives who have been elected, who are Senators and who are Senator equivalent on a state level ( Members of Legislative Council, MLC). We will also note whether they have a portfolio ( Ministry or shadow) and anything else which is interesting to note.
AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT (MP) AND SENATORS
- Goodenough is currently the Chair on Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights;
- Wong is currently the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate;
- Wong is currently the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs;
- Singh is currently the Deputy Chair on Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law;
STATE MEMBERS OF LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (MLA) AND MEMBERS OF LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL (MLC)
NEW SOUTH WALES
- Car is currently the Shadow Minister for TAFE and Skills;
- Car is currently the Shadow Minister for Western Sydney;
- Mookhey is currently the Shadow Cabinet Secretary;
- Lee is currently the Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education
- Fang is currently the Deputy Government Whip in the Legislative Council;
- Shing is currently the Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health
- Ratnam is currently the leader of the Victorian Greens;
- Lee is currently the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs, Trade and Investment and Small Business;
- Yang is currently the Government Whip;
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
- Lee is currently the Assistant Speaker;
- Lee is currently the Shadow Minister for Education;
- Lee is currently the Shadow Minister for Disability;
- Lee is currently the Shadow Minister for the Environment;
This rounds up the list nationwide at the moment.
Please not that both NSW MLCs – Daniel Mookhey and Wes Fang’s, terms have expired last month, however, chances are they will be re-appointed back into NSW Parliament. NSW MLC Ernest Wong is not in this list, as his term has expired and his position will not be renewed.
The Federal Election for Australia can be called anytime from today to next week, so hopefully we will see more in the Federal setting in both houses.