Liberal Gladys Liu has become the first Chinese-Australian woman to sit in
Federal Parliament's Lower House after notching a victory in the 2019 Federal
Election in the suburban Melbourne seat of Chisholm.
Ms Liu, a prominent voice in the Chinese community in Victoria, was born in
Hong Kong and moved to Melbourne in 1985 to study speech therapy at La
Trobe University. After completing a Bachelor of Applied Science degree, Ms
Liu worked as a speech pathologist in public and private practice, and also
managed two restaurants. Ms Liu later served as an adviser on multicultural
matters to two Premiers of Victoria. She became an Australian citizen in 1992.
Ms Liu’s win is reflective of the demographics of her electorate. According to
2016 Census data, one in five people in the seat have Chinese ancestry,
compared to 17 per cent English and 14.6 per cent Australian. Across Australia,
3.9 per cent of people claimed Chinese ancestry.
Ms Liu’s general career and electoral win is indicative of the success of
economic migration within the broader Australian immigration program
compared to other countries.