Indian-origin former MP Dave Sharma has taken the official oath as a senator for New South Wales (NSW) in the Australian Parliament, marking a historic moment for the opposition Liberal party.
Securing victory over former state treasurer Andrew Constance last month, Sharma, 47, carved his path as the first individual of Indian descent from the Liberal party to clinch the NSW senate position.
Amid applause, the former Australian Ambassador to Israel pledged his allegiance, receiving warm congratulations from his colleagues, as reported by The Canberra Times.
Accompanied by fellow NSW moderate faction colleagues Andrew Bragg and Maria Kovacic, Sharma assumed the seat left vacant by former Foreign Minister Marise Payne.
Senator Kovacic shared her delight, expressing, "An honor to escort our newest Senator, Dave Sharma, for his swearing-in today. Congratulations Senator Sharma," on X.
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Sussan Ley, extended a warm welcome to Sharma, highlighting his invaluable experience in Parliament and significant diplomatic roles. Ley emphasized Sharma's astute foreign policy acumen, deeming it particularly crucial in the current complex global landscape.
This development aligns with the Liberals' strategy to regain support and secure predominantly Labor-held seats.
Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton underscored Sharma's pivotal role amid critical global and domestic scenarios. Dutton praised Sharma's diplomatic and foreign policy expertise, citing the pressing circumstances in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific, while congratulating him on his success.
Dutton emphasized Sharma's commitment to advocating for Australian workers, families, and small businesses, often overlooked by the ruling Labor government.
Prior to his political career, Sharma's background as a career diplomat spanned postings in Washington D.C. and Port Moresby. He served with the Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville and headed the international division within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Sharma's academic credentials include graduating with first-class honors in Law from the University of Cambridge. He also holds a Master of Arts from Cambridge and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Deakin University.
(With Agency Inputs)