Making history today, on World Refugee Day, Fatima Payman has now become a first Afghan-Australian and first hijab-wearing Muslim woman in parliament.
Winning Western Australia’s sixth and final Senate seat, she is the state’s only new senator, after Labor senators Sue Lines and Glenn Sterle were re-elected, along with Liberal senators Michaelia Cash and Dean Smith, SBS reported.
“WE WON!!!! I’m proud to announce that I’ve officially been elected as a Senator for Western Australia,” she said on Facebook.
“Thank you everyone for your love and support! We did it!”
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Payman arrived as a refugee from Afghanistan as a child with her parents and three siblings, before growing up in Perth’s northern suburbs.
Inspired by the hard work of her parents, Payman became an organizer for the United Workers Union.
She later decided to turn to politics to represent the hard-working Australians after losing her father to leukaemia in 2018.
Her inspiring victory was widely welcomed by other politicians, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese who wrote “Congratulations Senator Payman” on Twitter.
Others posted support messages on Twitter as well to celebrate Payman’s achievement.
BREAKING: Meet Western Australia’s newest Senator – Fatima Payman.
— Patrick Gorman MP (@PatrickGormanMP) June 20, 2022
— Senator Sue Lines (@linessue) June 20, 2022
Many congratulations, Senator Fatima Payman! pic.twitter.com/MSExD38mpp
— Afghanistan in Australia (@AfghanEmbassyAu) June 20, 2022
Earlier this month, Anne Aly and Ed Husic made history as they became Australia’s first Muslim ministers.
Husic took the portfolio as the Minister for Industry and Science while Aly became Minister for Early Childhood Education and the Minister for Youth.
In 2017, Nadia Saleh made history after becoming Australia’s first hijab-wearing councilor