Why Dr Anne Aly is the best thing to come out of this election.

dr anne aly

If there’s anything you should care about this election, it’s this.

Dr Anne Aly has claimed the West Australian seat of Cowan for Labor, becoming the first muslim woman to be welcomed into the Australian parliament in the process.

And you know what? This historic event is excellent for SO. MANY. REASONS.

dr anne aly

Dr Anne Aly with Labor leader Bill Shorten. Source: Facebook.

Aside from somehow managing to be a woman, mother-of-two and Muslim at the same time (gasp!), Aly has also dedicated her professional life to understanding one of society's most misunderstood and marginalised groups.

Working as a researcher and lecturer at Edith Cowan University, Aly specialises in counter terrorism and the de-radicalisation of potential and former terrorists.

She also founded People Against Violent Extremism, an organisation that works with governments and the community in improving safety.

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And if there was ever a time that our federal parliament desperately needed an expert voice on those very issues, it's now, when people like Pauline Hanson are climbing back onto their publicly funded soapboxes to spread uneducated fear and hatred.

Dr Anne Aly talks about radicalisation on Q&A. Post continues... 

Video via Q&A

In winning her seat, Aly also managed to knocked off one of the Liberal party's more vocal members.

Running against Luke Simpkins, Aly is set to bring with her a seriousness to the role that the seat's predecessor seemed inexplicably unable to possess.

Because, while Aly spent the past three years conducting meaningful academic research and working with government behind the scenes, Simpkins - despite being a member of it - was working against it, filing leadership spill motions, playing a pivotal role in the eventual ousting an elected leader, and more locally, spreading messages of racism within his electorate.

Dr Anne Aly discusses tackling ISIS on Q&A. Post continues... 

Video via Q&A

 

And when you think about it, it's almost shocking to realise that alongside fellow Labor member Ed Husic, Aly is the second and last muslim that will sit in this parliament.

That's despite the fact that there are around half a million practicing Muslim people living within Australia.

 

Religious leanings aside though, we're still nowhere near reaching a gender balance in our parliament.

In the last government there was just 33 women in a house of 150 members. That's roughly one fifth of the space dedicated to representing the nation accurately. That number flies in the face of the fact that women make up half of the country's population, pay equal tax, contribute equally to society and work just as hard as our male counterparts.

dr anne aly

Aly campaigning during the 2016 election. Source: Facebook.

If the parliament is to truly serve as representation of the nation, the presence of people from all cultural, social, economic, gender, sexual and religious backgrounds is imperative. Without people like Aly, our leaders will continue to fail the public and get crucial issues wrong.

So maybe Joseph de Maistre was right in saying "you get the government you deserve."

Because by the looks of it, our latest one is far from perfect, but with people like Anne Aly inside it, it's sure to be made better.

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