July 11, 2013
On a perfect cloudless Sydney day, the winter sun rests upon all surfaces. It is the first day of Ramadan, and as I catch the train into the western suburbs, the minaret sounds the call to noon prayer at Auburn's Gallipoli mosque. People of all different cultural backgrounds gather around the farmers market in the heart of western Sydney to buy organic produce and to see their children skate around the artificial ice rink (it never gets truly cold in Sydney, after all). After so long travelling, working and volunteering abroad in Asia for a year, living in Australia's freezing capital city Canberra for university, and flying across the world to attend the G(irls)20 summit as the Australian delegate, it is remarkably comforting to return to my roots, to the world of my childhood. This multicultural hub which sometimes rests uneasy with the incredible combination of cultures, is still so wonderful because it shows how this great cultural experiment can turn out so well.
It is this Australia I seek to represent. I know an Australia which is diverse, egalitarian, cosmopolitan and tolerant. I know strong, hardworking men and women from all different cultural backgrounds who have taken advantage of our democratic freedoms and free society to make a living for themselves in our country. I know that wherever I go and whatever I do in the future, I will take my background of acceptance to my work.
I am a development studies major at the Australian National University. I moonlight as a shop assistant at an organic, fair trade chocolate store, a student newspaper hack, a novice debater, and an occasional hockey player. I love advocating for the empowerment of young people, particularly young women; for the extension of education; young people's involvement in politics, and innovative approaches to development. Please get in contact with me to share your ideas or any projects which we may be able to collaborate on.