Charishma Kaliyanda MP On Being The First Indian-Born Australian Elected To Liverpool
A conversation with Charishma
The New South Wales state election is done and dusted, ending with the Coalition government suffering from a heavy defeat at the hands of the Labor Party and Independents.
As the newly elected member of parliament, Charishma Kaliyanda has become the first Indian-born Australian to be elected for Liverpool.
The 35-year-old is a member of the Labor party and has run for office twice before, both times in the seat of Holsworthy.
Click the link below to listen the full episode:
In today’s episode of THIS ARVO IN SYDNEY, host Sacha Barbour Gatt spoke with Kaliyanda about her process and experience of being a new member of the NSW parliament.
So, what does the first week in parliament look like for her? When does she get her car space and email address?
Kaliyanda was raised in Liverpool after migrating to the area with her family as a young girl.
She now works as the Community Engagement Officer for headspace Campbelltown, aiming to build awareness of and reduce stigma around mental health.
“I had a few sort of messages from family, friends and supporters, who went... “How was your first day?” And I went. ‘I’m not actually too sure, you know’,” Kaliyanda said when describing her first day as a new MP.
Along with the excitement as a new MP, she felt a sense of responsibility and the opportunity to “truly change people’s lives”.
Recounting a conversation she had with her campaign manager, Kaliyanda said: “All of the things that we’ve been talking about... You have the platform and the voice now to genuinely be a force for good.”
“At that point I kind of started crying because the gravity of it kind of hit me,” she said.
Ms Kaliyanda said she would strive to better present people on Macquarie Street by being “with the community as much as possible”.
Since elected, she has attended 11 community events, with another 12 in the dairy this week.
“I find it really important to be in the middle of things, whether it’s sharing Ramadan, whether it’s attending a local festival or whether it’s attending just Friday prayers at the local temple or Sunday morning at church.”