Kenyan female accountant sworn in as the first African Australian Senator

In her maiden speech, Ms Gichuhi thanked her family members and friends.

Kenyan born Australian senator, Lucy Gichuhi was sworn in on Tuesday as the first black African Member of the federal parliament of Australia.

“I am honored and humbled to be sworn in today as the first person of black African descent in the Australian parliament.”

She added; “I thank God, my husband and daughters, my father and all other friends, friends and family and supporters for your encouragement and sharing the vision we hold to unite Australia as one”

Ms Gichuhi who has a law background was born in Hiriga village in Nyeri in 1992 but immigrated to Australia in 1999.

She was elected as a senator in South Australia last month after the Bob Clay, South Australia then senator who had been elected in 2013 resigned after the an Australian court found out he was eligible to stand for election.

As result of the vacancy created, the Kenyan-born lawyer who is a member of the Family First party won the seat on a special count of the South Australian ballot papers.

The countback is a method used in Australian four jurisdictions where casual vacancies are filled by re-examining the ballot papers data from the previous election.

The candidate who held the seat is eliminated, and a new election result is obtained by transferring votes that were originally allocated to the elected candidate at the time of his or her election to unsuccessful candidates.

This process maintains the proportionality of the representation according to the voters' choice without the need and associated costs of holding fresh elections.

Her Victory was not smooth sailing though, the Labour party tried unsuccessfully to bar her from being sworn in as a senator on account of her Kenyan citizenship.

The Australian high court however ruled that Senator Gichuhi is an Australian and therefore free to replace Clay in the Australian federal parliament.

Kenya did not allow dual citizenship in 1999 and therefore Ms. Gichuhi became an Australian citizen in July 2001, two years after her arrival in 1999.

The Family First Party is a conservative political party which was founded in 2001 but it was dissolved in 2017 after it mergered with the Australian Conservatives with the former party being absorbed.

After the merger Ms Gichuhi refused to join the conservatives and is currently sitting as an independent senator.

Lucy is married to William and together they have three children.


Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: