The first South Sudanese Australian elected to an Australian parliament was on Monday sworn in to Western Australia’s Legislative Council.
Ayor Makur Chuot arrived in Australia as a refugee in 2005 after spending 10 years in a UNHCR refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya.
She hopes her election to parliament will inspire other migrant women to consider a career in politics.
“When I came to Perth I couldn’t speak much English. A girl that arrived with her sister and a carry-on bag, a plastic bag. We came here with nothing, not even one dollar,” she told SBS News.
Ms Chuot becomes both Western Australia’s first MP of African heritage and the first Australian politician elected from the South Sudanese community.
She was joined at Parliament House today by her partner, brother, and two sons, including her newborn baby.
“I’m really excited about this new role. This is the place where decisions are made. For me to be involved in the team, where I can actually make a difference working with experienced people, is something I’m really excited for,” she said.