The Pathways to Politics Program for Women extends a big congratulations to Sally Sitou, the new ALP MP for Reid and an alum of the program.
Sally was part of our inaugural NSW Pathways to Politics program based at UNSW Sydney in 2021. The new member for Reid, who is of Chinese heritage, grew up in Sydney’s culturally diverse western suburbs after her parents fled Laos during the Vietnam War.
“The value of this program was it made me think about the contribution I wanted to make to my community. It made me be brave and bold and see a bigger role for what that contribution might look like,” says Sally.
“We are so proud of each of the 13 Pathways alumni who ran at the federal election – it takes real bravery and commitment to run, and they gave their all to their campaigns. We are especially proud of Sally Sitou, who won the seat of Reid for the ALP. She overcame – and gave – so much to achieve this victory. Her success also reminds us that Australian women from all backgrounds have a central role to play in shaping our politics,” says Professor Ros Dixon, Director of UNSW Sydney’s Pathways to Politics Program for Women.
I want to thank the people of Reid for electing me and trusting me to be your representative in Federal Parliament. I will not let you down.— Sally Sitou 陈莎莉 – Labor for Reid (@SallySitou) May 21, 2022
The people of Reid have voted for fairness, for integrity in government and for a better future for all. pic.twitter.com/PKMBSDwT9W
Pathways to Politics is having tangible impact addressing the underrepresentation of women in Australian politics by equipping women with the skills, networks and confidence they need to run for political office. The program has seen 21 electoral successes nationally since launching in 2016, and a further ten alums are anticipated to run in the upcoming Victorian state election.
It takes commitment, determination and an enormous amount of work to run a campaign, and we commend every one of our alums who put themselves forward to run for federal seats.
“Congratulations to Sally Sitou on her election to the seat of Reid and to all 13 Pathways to Politics alums who ran in the federal election on Saturday. We are so proud to see our alums putting their hands up to run across the country and political spectrum,” says Carol Schwartz AO, Chair of Trawalla Foundation and founder of the Pathways to Politics Program for Women.
Significant gains have been made by women across the political spectrum in the federal election (at current count, women are expected to fill 57% of Senate seats and account for 38% of House of Representatives members). We’d like to extend our congratulations to all women who have achieved electoral success.
“This is a critical moment of change for women in public office. Equal representation will shape culture, decision making, collaboration, and ultimately reflect community issues in a more fulsome way,” says Ms Schwartz.
“It is essential that we continue to build a critical mass and diversity of women in our parliaments –together we are literally changing the face of politics.”
Importantly, we’d like to applaud all of the women who campaigned in this election for their remarkable efforts, for their contribution to their communities and commitment to changing the face of politics.
May they continue to be brave and bold in their pursuit of public office!