Our four women with diverse agendas standing in elections on March 23

By Neena Badhwar

Next Saturday is NSW State elections on March 23. There has been a slew of issues as population boom spreads to the west of Sydney. Most of the suburbs from Parramatta and beyond are now inhabited by residents who make a major part of the multicultural mix that one can see. The residents look for government representatives that they can associate with and be able to talk to them on issues that concern them. We have in the Indian community four women who are fighting in these state elections with 93 seats in the Lower House and 21 out of 42 seats in the Upper House Legislative Council. You must vote on the day as it is compulsory and make sure you choose the following Indian candidates  into the parliament who have worked hard on a number of issues and will represent the communities on our behalf where it actually matters, meaning the Lower House as well as the Upper House of NSW parliament.

Durga Owen for the Lower House for the seat of Seven Hills

Durga Owen, Labor candidate for Seven Hills, says, “Power bills have gone up by 60 per cent due to Liberals voting for privatisation and due to deregulation of the retail market. Labor will be implementing measures which the ACCC has costed as saving the average household up to 25 per cent off of its electricity bill.”

Also Labor has pledged 50 million dollars for a school in Westmead in its first term in office. Among other notable announcement Labor has also pledged $250,000 to crucial upgrades of the Binalong Park in Toongabbie.

Durga Owen, mother of three young boys, a practising solicitor in criminal law and teaching part time at Western Sydney university, has her hands full yet has worked hard and her rapport with the constituents in the seat of Seven Hills has brought positive feedback, she supports wholeheartedly Labor’s positive policies for a fairer NSW. One can see many posters in the area that residents have put up in their front yards supporting her which say ”˜Durga Owen ”“ Standing Up For You’ as they stand behind this beautiful lady who is the face of fast increasing multicultural face of NSW in western Sydney suburbs who seem eager to vote for her in the coming elections on Saturday, March 23, 2019.

Says Durga, “From two weeks of early voting I feel strongly that we are in a winnable position but we still want you all to come out and vote on March 23. Do make sure to vote correctly by putting ”˜1’ in the box next to my name Durga Owen Labor.”

Durga is passionate about the issues in her suburbs which are overdevelopment without any thought. “The schools, the hospitals, the roads are all crowded, issues that rile me up totally. There are developments on top of swamps, flood prone areas, not enough spaces for parks with cars parked alongside roads which is very poor urban design without any consultation of the people living in these areas.”

“Labor is committed to making life easier, better and has more consultative approach. Whereas Liberal government has made us pay toll such as on the M4 something that the taxpayers paid and is making us pay again for the next 43 years which will go into the coiffeurs of private companies. That is very poor economic management at the cost of us tax payers. In comparison Labor’s motto is schools and hospitals first and stop this mad development without a thought on infrastructure around it.”

Durga stresses on representation in parliament that it should mirror our society with more women and people of diverse cultures represented, she says, “I am proud that the Labor party is leading the way in this aspect. As the decisions made in Parliament have a huge impact on our daily lives. Building trust through collaborative and community centered policy making is what will rebuild trust in our politicians and guarantee accountability.”

So do vote ”˜1’ in the box with the name Durga Owen Labor, this coming Saturday.

Pallavi Sinha on Liberal ticket for the Upper House

Pallavi Sinha, Lawyer & Academic, & active community worker, is the only Indian origin person to successfully get a position on the Liberal ticket for the NSW Upper House / NSW Legislative Council for the upcoming NSW State election on 23 March 2019.

To ensure that Pallavi gets your vote, she is in Group ‘K, you must vote BELOW THE LINE ONLY. You must number 15 candidates below the line with number 1 in the box next to Pallavi’s name and number the rest 14 boxes for Liberal or other party candidates of your choice to make the vote valid. If all 15 squares are not numbered below the line then the vote will become invalid.

Pallavi was also selected on the prestigious AFR & Westpac 100 Women of Influence list. She completed Economics (Social Sciences) & Law degrees with honours from the University of Sydney. Her qualifications are well-suited to Parliament, particularly as it is one of the branches of Government which makes the laws of NSW. Her work experience is particularly relevant to the NSW Upper House / NSW Legislative Council, which is often called the House of Review because of its role in scrutinising Government legislation, and holding the Government to account.

At her recent campaign launch, there were several speeches in support of Pallavi Sinha’s candidacy, including from NSW Government Minister, MPs, Mayors & Community leaders

Pallavi has a proven track record of advocating & achieving results for diverse communities, including policy reforms (especially relating to domestic violence & equal opportunity for women). She presented submissions before the Inquiry into s20D of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977. As a result of combined efforts by many organisations and individuals, there has been law reform to address some of the problems with s20D. She has served on multicultural councils such as the Multicultural Consultation Council of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board. As a community spokesperson Pallavi has presented submissions before a Government Committee on DV on behalf of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council Australia. Pallavi has worked very hard for the Liberal Party. Over the years she has convened Forums in areas such as small business and innovation, she has spoken at multicultural Liberal Forums.

Charishma Kaliyanda standing from Holsworthy

Charishma Kaliyanda, an occupational therapist, and a Councillor at the Liverpool Council, is standing for Labor from the seat of Holsworthy says, “I got interested in politics from university days when I became the president of the Student Representative Council at UNSW.” Having moved from Banglaore at age 4 with her family, Charishma, put her hand up encouraged by a local Member of Parliament as she grew up around Liverpool, she says, “I am someone who listens to the people in my area and able to advocate on their behalf.” She says that as Liverpool City Councillor and having stood in state elections in 2015, she knows the issues and is in touch with the residents who are concerned about over development in the area which has put pressure on infrastructure and services. “People are worried about overcrowded schools, cost of living, hospital waiting time, impact of road tolls.”

While the Liberals have been slow to respond to the growing population, Labor has committed to ensuring school infrastructure keeps up with the booming families with young school going children.

“I know that there are schools being overcrowded that are breaking up break timings so that children can have playtime in the school yard.”

Simple observations and having been nominated by Labor 18 months ago, Charishma has been campaigning from very early on, she says, “I get lots of hugs from people, selfies with them as they recognise me and the response has been quite overwhelming.”

“It’s a joy for me to see the face of a young person from a diverse background which opens up a world of possibilities. And seeing women putting up their hand from Indian background in these elections, from diverse professions like myself, with different kind of experiences makes it an exciting time and election.”

Charishma had last year in an interview with Marie Clair magazine on the occasion of International Women’s day had said, which sums up her thoughts and the optimism she carries for the society, “Just as multiculturalism has contributed to the richness of Australian society, having more women in politics will improve the quality of political decisions and the process that leads to these decisions.”

Aruna Chandrala for Upper House for Labor

Aruna Chandrala, who migrated from Andhra Pradesh in 1986, says she has been tirelessly working for the community for the last 30 years. A past president of United Indian Association, an umbrella body that represents 26 Indian associations, Aruna is standing as a NSW candidate for Labor for the Upper House. “I feel honoured and humbled when they announced and nominated me for the Upper House.”

Aruna has played an important role in promoting art and culture, herself a recognisable face of cultural diversity in the Indian community as well as the rest, she definitely will be the proud Sari wearing Upper House member helping pass bills and legislations, if chosen.

Look for Aruna Chandrala under Group J on the polling form, write 1 in the square next to her name underneath the line and number the rest of the candidates 2-15, all fifteen of them,  as per your choice. By doing exactly that you would be voting in her favour. You must number all fifteen with Aruna  as number ”˜1’ under the line so that the vote is valid in her favour.  

Says Aruna, “Domestic violence, gender equality, equal opportunity for women in work place and in politics is very important for me. Labor is for universal health care and is very aware of school children learning languages for which they have promised to increase per child subsidy from $120 to $200 and committed to train all the language teachers who have been teaching languages for many years. They have also promised opal cards free to school students with free access to public transport.

She adds, “Moreover Labor cares for schools and hospitals before the stadiums.”

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