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‘A surreal moment’: Sally Sitou celebrates diversity in parliament as she claims victory in Reid

Parliament may look a lot different going forward with the diversity of local Australian communities given an opportunity to be reflected with more diverse candidates winning seats.

Labor’s Sally Sitou is set to become the member for Reid after defeating Liberal MP Fiona Martin in a battle that was marred by controversy after Ms Martin was accused of confusing Ms Sitou with another Asian-Australian.

She said: “This moment is surreal in the best way possible, that one could dare to dream, a dream this big.” Following her win, she added that diversity in parliament is important “not for diversity’s sake but for what diverse politicians bring into parliament. You bring different experiences and perspectives, different ways of looking at the world, and that is what’s going to make our parliament stronger and our democracy stronger,” she said.

The new member for Reid is of Chinese heritage and her parents fled Laos as a result of the Vietnam war. She grew up and went to school in Sydney’s western suburbs, rich in culture and where diversity thrives. All parts of her story which has helped shaped her values and beliefs.

Resonating with what she stands for, the community elected her to be their voice in Federal Parliament. Ms Sitou looks back on her election campaign fondly and said she experienced many magical moments. “Young women from different backgrounds came up to me and said that me standing as the candidate meant something to them – and that’s something that I’ll take away with me forever.”

Ms Le arrived in Australia with her mother and two younger sisters from refugee camps in South East Asia in the late 1970s, after her mother escaped war-ravaged Vietnam, and eventually resettled in Bossley Park.

Source: article by Monique Pueblos, SBS News, 22 May 2022

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