Labor Senator Varun Ghosh for WA

The Labor party in Western Australia (WA) has chosen Indian-origin barrister Varun Ghosh as its senator in Canberra to fill the vacancy created by the resignation in December by Senator Pat Dodson who retired on Australia Day 2024.

On February 1, the WA Labour Party officially confirmed him as their pick to represent Western Australia (WA).

A joint sitting of WA Parliament finalized the name of Varun Ghosh who will now sit in Canberra as Labor senator for WA. 

“The Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council have chosen Senator Varun Ghosh to represent Western Australia in the Senate of the Federal Parliament,” the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia announced on X.

Varun joined the Labor party in Perth at the age of 17. His parents moved from India in the 1980s and began working as neurologists first in Canberra and then in WA.

He said his preselection was an honour he won’t take for granted.

“I have had the privilege of a good education and believe strongly that high-quality education and training should be available to everyone,” Varun said in a statement.

“Varun has spent the last few years working as a barrister with both WA business & on the international stage with the World Bank. I look forward to working with him as part of our @walabor Senate team in CBR (Canberra),” Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Matt Keogh, wrote on X platform.

At the 2019 federal election, Varun was placed fifth position on the Australian Labour Party’s Senate ticket in Western Australia and practically had no chance of getting elected.

“Perth barrister Varun Ghosh isin the unwinnable fifth position for Labor”, Michael Pelly had written in his column in the AFR on May 16, 2019.

Apparently, he has been able to maneuver his way up in the part5y hierarchy since then to be the pick of the party to replace a stalwart like Pat Dodson.

Pat Dodson, an indigenous leader from WA is known as the ‘Father of reconciliation’ for his decades long work in aboriginal affairs. He was a Commissioner into Aborigianl Deaths in Custody and Chair of Reconciliation Australia. Pat Dodson has cancer.

Announcing laster year that he would retire from active politics, he said:

“Regrettably, my recent treatment for cancer means that my health, although slowly improving, has left me physically unable to fulfill satisfactorily my duties as a Senator”.

Clearly Varun has big shoes to fill.

Varun has degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Western Australia and was a Commonwealth Scholar in Law at the University of Cambridge.

He previously worked as a finance attorney in New York and as a consultant for the World Bank in Washington, DC.

Varun was chosen by the Parliament of Western Australia on 1.2.2024 under section 15 of the Constitution to represent the state of Western Australia in the Senate.

Varun is aligned with the Western Australian Labor’s Right faction.

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