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Meet Australia’s first Indian-origin MP, Dave Sharma

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Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada in 1975, Dave is short for his name ‘Devanand’, named after famous Bollywood star of those times, Dev Anand.

Sydney-based Dave Sharma, son of an Indian migrant, has become Australia’s first Indian-origin Member of Parliament.

“Being the first Indian-origin representative in the Australian Parliament is a great honour and a privilege,” Mr Dave Sharma said in an exclusive interview to SBS Hindi after reclaiming the seat of Wentworth for the Liberal Party in the May 18th elections.

Dave Sharma

Born to an Indian father and an Australian mother, Dave Sharma is the first Indian-origin politician to be elected to the House of Representatives in the Australian parliament.

Former diplomat turned businessman, Dave Sharma said it felt ‘very satisfying’ to win the Wentworth seat after losing it to independent Kerryn Phelps six months ago, after Malcolm Turnbull was ousted as prime minister and quit politics.

“It feels satisfying to contribute to the Coalition victory against the odds and against expectations. I feel very satisfied to have won the seat back, having been the person who lost it just six months ago,” Mr Sharma told SBS Hindi.

Dave Sharma

Sharma has served as Australia's former ambassador to Israel and has also worked as a staffer for former foreign minister Alexander Downer.

He was the head of the International Division in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2010 to 2012.

Meet Australia’s first Indian-origin MP, Dave Sharma
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Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada in 1975, Dave is short for his name ‘Devanand’, named after famous Bollywood star of those times, Dev Anand. 

His grandfather was a Brahmin priest from UP in India who moved to Trinidad in 1908. His father met his mother, who was from Sydney, in the United Kingdom.

The family later moved to Canada before coming to Australia in 1979.

“My father was from Trinidad and Tobago where half of the population is Indian. My dad’s family hails from Uttar Pradesh and I am in close touch with the Indian side of my family,” he said.

Sharma, who is married to Rachel Lord, a trained lawyer and diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, have three daughters. 

Dave Sharma

The newly-elected MP, who is relatively new to politics, says his main priority is to become a good parliamentarian and a local representative but adds, he would be happy to contribute to the matters related to foreign affairs and play a positive role to strengthen the relationship with India.

“With my background in foreign affairs and national security and my own Indian ancestry, I hope to make a contribution in those areas and in particular work to strengthen and nourish the relationship with India,” he said.

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