6 Female South-Asian Candidates to look out for in the upcoming election

With the 2022 Federal election less than 3 weeks away, it’s more important than ever for all people of voting age to be aware of the candidates we’ll be voting for at the ballot box. 

As noted in past articles, despite the fact that our system of governance is meant to be a representative democracy, it’s been noted by many that the current make-up of our federal government is not particularly representative or reflective of what Australia looks like today.

Here’s a list of the South-Asian women candidates from the 3 major parties.

Candidates for the House of Representatives (or the ‘Lower House) for the 2022 Federal Election

Rachel Jacobs (GREENS) Grayndler, NSW

Rachel Jacobs

Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah (LABOR) Higgins, VIC

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Cassandra Fernando (LABOR) Holt, VIC


Zaneta Mascarenhas (LABOR) Swan, WA


Mira D’Silva (LIBERAL) Maribyrnong, VIC

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Surbhi Snowball (LABOR), Flinders, VIC


In future elections, I look forward to seeing more states and territories represented on lists like this one. However, considering just how slowly our more established institutions take to adopt change maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised.


A recent report by Raise Our Voices Australia, ‘Where are the Young Women?’ found that although “94% of respondents agree that it’s important for a government to be diverse … [v]ery few respondents believed they are represented in political spaces.”


This is why the women included in this list are so important to the progress and development of our country. In a time when it’s been highlighted again and again that women aren’t treated with equal dignity, fairness or respect in Australian politics, it takes courage and the strength to be part of our democratic processes – and it’s why their inclusion in the ballot should be celebrated. 


It’s also a reminder that more needs to be done by the Government and all major parties to ensure that our federal Parliament is a safe place for everyone, especially young women of colour, whom it seems to have failed the most. 

Want to join a community of impact driven South Asian Australian women? Sign up here to join a community which supports you and champions your work.

06 Sep: Turning personal diaries into page turning books I Book Club Reviews Nandita Chakraborty’s ‘Dirty Little Secrets: A Memoir’

In July we read Nandita Chakraborty’s ‘Dirty Little Secrets: A Memoir’ as part of our South Asian Women’s Book Club.

Through her book, Nandita builds a complex world of characters navigating their lives as authentically flawed, humanly inconsistent people. Her book is a generous insight into her writing process all the while giving the reader something to think about at every chapter. To learn about our discussions on the book and with Nandita, check out the full blog.

10 Aug: Creating a Career in Social Impact: Meet Yatha Jain

Yatha यथा is an award-winning multicultural advocate and speaker who is also pursuing a career in the medical device industry. She is currently a Youth Ambassador for the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network NSW and Vice-Chair of the non for profit, Prosper (Project Australia).

Yatha has spoken at events including the International Youth Media Conference, the National Youth Futures Summit and has commented for media publications including the Sydney Morning Herald. She also worked with the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism in a Global Program to prevent violent extremism among young people. Her passion for helping others and advocating for the vulnerable and marginalised groups is an inspiration. Read the full blog for Yatha’s insight into advocacy and leadership.

03 Aug: Celebrating community and kindness with Ana Tiwary

ASAC is thrilled to celebrate Ana as one of the 2022 Australia’s Stellar South Asian Women awardees. Ana runs the production company indiVisual films that specialises in multicultural stories. Ana created the Diversity in Australian Media community 13 years ago and is an advocate for equity, social justice and safe spaces. Learning of Ana’s advocacy and support for equity, representation and social justice in media has been heartwarming. We know the legacy she’s created will continue to have a lasting impact on future generations of Australian creatives; and goes to the heart of what this award and ASAC are all about.

Read the full blog to learn about Ana’s tireless efforts behind the scenes to bring about positive change to Australia’s media landscape.