Fatima Payman has been elected to the federal senate, making Australian history as the first Muslim woman who wears a hijab to sit in federal parliament.
It was confirmed today that Payman has won Western Australia’s sixth senate spot for the Labor Party. At just 27 years old, she will also become the first Afghan-Australian to enter federal parliament.
Payman arrived in Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan when she eight, and grew up in Perth’s northern suburbs with her family.
The confirmation of her election to the senate will see Labor holding 26 seats.
Payman has said her father, who worked as a kitchen hand, a security guard and a taxi driver after arriving in Australia as a refugee, instilled in her the values of hard work and perseverance, and she’d like to be able to represent hard working Australians like her father.
Payman has a professional background as an organiser at the United Workers Union.
Her election to parliament builds on the diversity of the new Albanese government, that recently appointed Australia’s first ever Muslim cabinet ministers, Anne Aly and Ed Husic.
The final count of the senate has now been confirmed, with Labor holding 26 seats, the Greens holding 12, the Jacqui Lambie Network holding two, and independent David Pocock elected in the ACT. The Liberal and National parties will hold 32 seats when combined, One Nation will hold two seats, and the United Australia Party will hold one.
It was also confirmed on Monday morning that United Australia Party candidate Ralph Babet has won Victoria’s sixth senate spot.