Sri Lanka born Cassandra Fernando wins Australia election

“Hi, I’m Cassandra. I’m a proud migrant, a pastry chef, an advocate for essential workers and your Federal Labor Candidate for Holt.
I came to Australia with my family when I was 11, and I’ve called Melbourne’s south-east home ever since. I began working at Woolies Dandenong Plaza as a teenager, and spent almost 14 years baking, stacking shelves and making lifelong friends. My early years in retail reinforced the value of hard work and commitment — values that I have upheld throughout my life.
I now represent workers in the retail and fast food industries, fighting to improve their pay and conditions. As a volunteer, I’ve tutored migrants, refugees and young people from non-English speaking backgrounds. This election will define the future for generations of Australians to come. Only Labor can deliver a better future for Holt — a future in which families like mine and yours are not held back or left behind.
I hope I can count on your support, and I look forward to meeting you soon.”

Cassandra Fernando, the first Sri Lankan-born woman in parliament, was elected to the Australian Federal Parliament representing the Holt seat in Victoria.

Cassandra Fernando, who is she?

Cassandra is a proud migrant, pastry chef, important worker advocate, and Federal Labor Candidate for Holt.

She moved to Melbourne’s South-East with her family when she was 11, and she has lived there ever since.

Her parents taught her not to take anything for granted and implanted three principles in her that she still practices today: hard work, dedication, and thankfulness.

Her parents instilled in her the belief that she was entitled to a fair day’s salary for a fair day’s labor, as well as the necessity of community service. As a youngster, she began working at Woolies Dandenong Plaza, where she spent over 15 years baking, stacking shelves, and making lifelong friends.

She now represents retail and fast restaurant employees, campaigning to better the salary and working conditions of my former coworkers, who have worked relentlessly during the pandemic. She has also volunteered to tutor non-English speaking migrants and refugees so that they may take advantage of every opportunity.

Her parents also encouraged her to be thankful, both to her community and to Australia, and to never miss a chance to express thanks. She decided to run for Holt because she believes that only a Labor government can give Holt a brighter future—one in which families like hers are neither kept back or left behind.

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