Dave Sharma, 43, the Liberal candidate and former public servant, has scripted history by becoming the first Indian-origin lawmaker in the country's Parliament after winning a seat in Sydney suburb in the federal election. He defeated independent candidate Kerryn Phelps for the eastern suburb seat of Wentworthin district. Sharma was Australia's ambassador to Israel from 2013 to 2017.
Sharma is chairman of the board of directors of Shekel Brainweigh Ltd, an Israeli technology company. In January 2018, Sharma also began working for Kelly+Partners Chartered Accountants, leading their Government Relations, Incentives & Innovation team. "I''ll be concentrating my time over the next weeks, months and years to being a good local representative…I'll be helping to protect open spaces and parklands, fight for better local infrastructure and transport, helping preserve the wonderful quality of life we have here in Wentworth," he said on getting elected.Following the August 2018 resignation of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Sharma was selected as the Liberal Party candidate for the resulting Wentworth by-election. Sharma is married to Rachel Lord, a lawyer and diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. They have three daughters.
Other Liberal candidates who contested but lost were Vivek Singha and Sachin Joshi from New South Wales and Hemant Dave from South Australia. Labor Party's candidates included Aruna Chandrala and Parwinder Sarwara. Raj Samson Rajwin, Prakul Chhabra, Jatinder Singh, Sahil Chawla represented United Australia Party (UAP).
The Indian community is a significant and growing community in Australia and Liberal party had promised 2.5 million Australian dollars specifically for Indians in Victoria and Perth. The Indian diaspora has also been actively involved in election campaigning for their respective parties and raising funds. This year, the two major political parties, Labor and Liberal, also wooed the Indian-Australian voters with several new promises.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is close to securing a majority government as the election's final results are being counted. His conservative coalition has defied polls and is leading with 77 seats, the Australian Electoral Commission says. Only 76 seats are needed for a majority.
Importantly, the Labor Senator from Tasmania Lisa Singh with Indian-Fijian ancestry was the first to enter Australian Parliament.