Zaneta Mascarenhas Cassandra Fernando Michelle Ananda-Rajah

It is a great election 2022 success story. And it is not about Rachelle Miller, Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame. It is the story of Zaneta Mascarenhas, Cassandra Fernando and Michelle Ananda-Rajah – who have been elected to be law makers in Australia for the next three years.

Zaneta Mascarenhas has been elected as the member for Swan in Western Australia while both Cassandra Fernando (Holt) and Michelle Ananda-Rajah (Higgins) have been elected from Victoria.

And it is no surprise to the Indian/South Asian communities in Australia that all three of them have been elected as members of the Australian Labor party.

That to many should be axiomatic of the Labor ‘walking the talk’.

It has been quite some time now since the Labor party has been talking about its resolve to have women quotas and encouraging more and more women to put their hand up when it comes to pre-selection.

They all come from different backgrounds and represent different electorates.

Also read: Election 2022 – Indian/South Asian Faces in the arena

Zaneta Mascarenhas, a Kalgoorlie born Australian of Goan Indian descent is an Engineer by profession. She has won the seat of Swan in Western Australia – held previously (2019) by the Liberal party with a margin of 52.69% to Labor’s 47.31%.

Zaneta increased the Labor vote by approximately 12% increasing it to 59.01%, reducing the Liberal vote in this election to 40.99%.

Michelle Ananda-Rajah, a Medicine professional, a doctor leads a team of frontline healthcare professionals at a major hospital in Melbourne. An Australian of Sri Lankan descent has won the seat of Higgins in Victoria – held by the Liberal party since 1975, was in 2019 won by the Liberal party’s Katie Allen with a margin of 53.88% to Labor’s 46.12%.

Michelle increased the Labor vote by approximately 6% increasing it to 51.91%, reducing the Liberal vote in this election to 48.09%.

Cassandar Fernando on the other hand had an easy run in the seat of Holt. The seat of Holt has been safely held by the Labor party since 1980 and it is the former seat of Gareth Evans (1996-1999) and Anthony Byrne (1999-2022).

Anthony Byrne held the seat in 2019 winning 58.70% to Liberal party’s 41.30%.

A pastry chef by profession and a union organizer for the SDA (Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association), Cassandra has been given one of the safest Labor seats in the country and should be there for the long haul.

Many other candidates from our community did not succeed. Here is a quick reference snapshot of the results:

Immanuel Selvaraj

Electorate: Mitchell (NSW)

Our candidate: Immanuel Selvaraj (Labor)
Total votes received: 36,225 (38.90%)

Elected candidate: Alex Hawke (Liberal)
Total votes: 56,896(61.10%)


Surbhi Snowball

Electorate: Flinders (VIC)

Our candidate: Surbhi Snowball (Labor)
Total votes received: 36,262 (43.27%)

Elected candidate: Zoe McKenzie (Liberal)
Total votes: 47,547(56.73%)


Ravi Gaddipati

Electorate: Lalor (VIC)

Our candidate: Ravi Gaddipati (Liberal)
Total votes received: 26,053 (37.35%)

Elected candidate: Joanne Ryan (Labor)
Total votes: 43,699(62.65%)


Mira D’Silva

Electorate: Maribyrnong (VIC)

Our candidate: Mira D’Silva (Liberal)
Total votes received: 28,053 (37.97%)

Elected candidate: Bill Shorten (Labor)
Total votes: 45,823(62.03%)


Cassandra Fernando

Electorate: Holt (VIC)

Our Elected candidate: Cassandra Fernando (Labor)
Total votes: 43,269(57.17%)

Our defeated candidate: Ranj Perera (Liberal)
Total votes received: 32,421 (42.83%)

Vivek Singha

Electorate: McMahon (NSW)

Our candidate: Vivek Singha (Liberal)
Total votes received: 28,416 (41.11%)

Elected candidate: Chris Bowen (Labor)
Total votes: 40,712(58.89%)


Bill Koul

Electorate: Fremantle (WA)

Our candidate: Bill Koul (Liberal)
Total votes received: 26,908 (33.25%)

Elected candidate: Josh Wilson (Labor)
Total votes: 54,018(66.75%)

Manish Patel

Electorate: Corio (VIC)

Our candidate: Manish Patel (Liberal)
Total votes received: 31,565 (36.93%)

Elected candidate: Richard Marles (Labor)
Total votes: 53,910(63.07%)


Pradeep Pathi

Electorate: Greenway (NSW)

Our candidate: Pradeep Pathi (Liberal)
Total votes received: 33,482 (38.33%)

Elected candidate: Michelle Rowland (Labor)
Total votes: 53,876(61.67%)


Michelle Ananda-Rajah
Electorate: Higgins (VIC)

Our Elected candidate: Michelle Ananda-Rajah (Labor)
Total votes: 39,964(51.91%)

Defeated candidate: Katie Allen (Liberal)
Total votes received: 37,020 (48.09%)

Savitri Bevinakoppa

Electorate: Hotham (VIC)

Our candidate: Savitri Bevinakoppa (Liberal)
Total votes received: 31,113 (35.57%)

Elected candidate: Clare O’Neil (Labor)
Total votes: 56,349 (64.43%)


Jugandeep Singh

Electorate: Chifley (NSW)

Our candidate: Jugandeep Singh (Liberal)
Total votes received: 30,438 (35.70%)

Elected candidate: Ed Husic (Labor)
Total votes: 54,815(64.30%)


Zaneta Mascarenhas

Electorate: Swan (WA)

Our Elected candidate: Zaneta Mascarenhas (Labor)
Total votes received: 46,639 (59.01%)

Defeated candidate: Kristy McSweeney (Liberal)
Total votes: 32,396 (40.99%)

All eyes will now by on our ladies – Zaneta Mascarenhas, Cassandra Fernando and Michelle Ananda-Rajah to take care of the issues our communities are facing.

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