Lucy Gichuhi is Australia’s First Ever Black Senator
Senator Lucy Gichuhi, a lawyer born in Kenya, recently made history when she became the first person of African descent to become a member of Australia’s parliament. The seat she now occupies had been left vacant for six months.
“I am honored and humbled to be sworn in… I thank God, my husband and daughters, my father and all other friends, family and supporters for your encouragement, and sharing the vision we hold to unite Australia as one.”
The eldest of ten children, Gichuhi grew up in the tiny village of Hiriga in Nyeri County in rural Kenya. As a child, upon returning home from school each day, she worked in her family’s garden, gathering food, or assisted in milking the family’s cows. She studied hard, and, many years later, was able to realize her dream of becoming a lawyer.
Stumbling Blocks in Her Path
Like many other black people attempting to shatter a glass ceiling, Gichuhi’s journey to the Australian parliament was not without its share of obstacles. Her eligibility to become a member of parliament was challenged by her those opposing her, on the grounds that she was born in Kenya; this in spite of the fact that she legally became an Australian citizen in 2001.
Since becoming a member of parliament, Gichuhi, who has informed the Senate that she will not be merging with any parties and will instead sit as an independent, has had many negative and racist remarks aimed at her from members of the public. This, however, has not deterred her.
Find out more about Lucy Gichuhi’s story below.
By: Danielle Dixon
Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani