Indian-origin Dave Sharma officially sworn in as senator in Australia

Canberra, Dec 4 (IANS): Indian-origin former MP Dave Sharma was officially sworn in on Monday as a senator for New South Wales (NSW) in the Australian Parliament.

Sharma, 47, defeated former state treasurer Andrew Constance last month to become the first person of Indian-origin from the opposition Liberal party to win the NSW senate position.

The former Australian Ambassador to Israel received applause after swearing his affirmation of allegiance, and was congratulated by his colleagues, The Canberra Times reported.

He was flanked by his NSW moderate faction colleagues, Andrew Bragg and Maria Kovacic, as he took oath for a seat left vacant by former Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

"An honour to escort our newest Senator, Dave Sharma, for his swearing-in today. Congratulations Senator Sharma," Senator Kovacic wrote on X.

Sussan Ley, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, said Sharma is a "welcome addition" to the federal Liberal team.

"He has strong experience in Parliament and in senior diplomatic postings. Dave’s keen foreign policy intellect will be particularly welcome given we are in the most dangerous set of geopolitical circumstances since WWII," Ley wrote on X.

The development comes as the Liberals look to claw back support and win predominantly Labor-held seats.

In a statement earlier, Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton had said that Sharma's entry to the Senate as part of the Liberal Party comes at a crucial time given events abroad and at home,

"His diplomatic and foreign policy expertise and experience will lend considerable weight and wisdom to the public policy debate given the precarious circumstances in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific," Dutton had said, congratulating Sharma on securing the seat.

Dutton further said that Dave will continue to fight for everyday Australian workers, families and small businesses which are being forgotten and left behind by the ruling Labor government.

As a career diplomat prior to entering parliament, Dave was also posted to Washington D.C. and Port Moresby, served as a peacekeeper with the Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville, and headed the international division within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

He studied at the University of Cambridge, where he graduated with first-class honours in Law.

He also has a Master of Arts from Cambridge and a Master of Arts (International Relations) from Deakin University.



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Title: Indian-origin Dave Sharma officially sworn in as senator in Australia

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