Probably one of the biggest changes coming out of the Federal Election this year was the sea of Independents being elected. One of the biggest surprises as the change in the Western Sydney seat of Fowler, which for as far as most can remember has been a stronghold for the Labor Party. It is also one of the most culturally diverse electorates with a very high Vietnamese population.
In saying all this, the new Member of Parliament for Fowler is Dai Le, who is also the former Deputy Mayor for Fairfield. She won the seat in surprising circumstances against former Labor Party Senator and former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally. Of course when Keneally was parachuted into the seat of Fowler, there was a lot of controversy ( please refer to this piece for more details).
Le won the seat with over 50% of the vote as an Independent and on Monday made her maiden speech with a splash and did it draped in a traditional Vietnamese dress called an “Ao dai”. She spoke a lot about the demographics of her electorate and references a lot about her refugee background and how her and her family’s experience mirrors the experiences of many living in the Fowler electorate. For your reference, here are some of the things she said:
“I’m humbled that my community has chosen me to represent them. It’ll be hard to express in words how grateful I am for this unbelievable opportunity and tremendous responsibility, but I will try.”
“While it is a privilege to represent the people of Fowler we are not a privileged people. We are the forgotten people, and yet we are the backbone of Australia.”
“Australia, you welcomed my mother, my family with open arms. You gave us comfort food and a warm bed to sleep in. This migration story belongs to all of us.”
Here is the full photo of her and the Ao dai.
Images via Twitter