Pakistani-born Mehreen Faruqi became Australia’s first Muslim woman senator after being appointed to fill a vacant seat on Wednesday.
The Greens Party MP for New South Wales will be sworn into office next week.
Her family had migrated to Australia in 1992. Before entering politics she had a distinguished career as an academic and has a doctorate in environmental engineering.
Her election to the state parliament in 2013 made her the first Muslim woman to attain any political office in Australia.
In an interview with BBC, she shared that she will use her new role to achieve a “positive future for Australia where we are stronger for our diversity”.
Faruqi has also taken a strong stance against recent incidents of racism in Australia. She remarked that overt displays of racism are not isolated incidents.
She has also been a prominent critic of Fraser Anning’s use of the Holocaust-associated term.
Faruqi told Guardian that Australia Anning’s speech had thrown millions of decent Australians under the bus in a “desperate attempt to remain relevant and reignite a long gone racist policy”.
“Senator Anning has spat in the face of our successful multicultural society, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from an ex-One Nation senator,” she said.
“These merchants of hate in the Senate will stop at nothing to keep attacking non-white people simply for the sake of sowing division in our country for their narrow political interests.”
“I am Muslim migrant, I’m about to be a Senator and there’s not a damn thing Fraser Anning can do about it,” she wrote in a piece for a website.