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. 

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Michelle Law’s ‘Asian Girls Are Going Places’ is a self described as the perfect travel companion and it definitely delivers. Packed with tips and tricks for finding the best places, food, and experiences as well as anecdotes from the author herself, it’s a great conversation starter whether you’ve got travel on the horizon or not.

28 Sep: Chronicling domestic violence in Australia | Book Club Reviews Manjula Datta O’Connor’s ‘Daughters of Durga’

It was in the early 2010’s that a series of domestic violence cases amongst South Asian Communities in Victoria gained traction in the media. Against the backdrop of a rising incidence and awareness of family violence, state and national communities grappled with this emerging profile of what was happening behind the closed doors of South Asian homes. This is where Manjula Datta O’Connor begins her novel, Daughters of Durga, but it isn’t where the story ends.

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.