Mehreen Faruqi

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The Honourable
Mehreen Faruqi
Mehreen Faruqi.jpg
Faruqi in 2015
Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council
Assumed office
19 June 2013
Preceded by Cate Faehrmann
Personal details
Born Lahore, Pakistan
Nationality Australian, formerly Pakistani and Australian
Political party Greens New South Wales
Spouse(s) Omar Faruqi
Alma mater University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore
University of New South Wales
Occupation Environmental engineer

Mehreen Saeed Faruqi is a Pakistani-born Australian politician. She has been a Greens MP in the New South Wales Legislative Council since 19 June 2013, when she was appointed to the vacancy caused by Cate Faehrmann's resignation to contest the Senate.[1]

Early life[edit]

Faruqi was born in Lahore, Pakistan. Her father, a civil engineer, was a professor at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET). She graduated from UET with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) degree in 1988, and subsequently worked as a structural engineer. Faruqi and her husband Omar moved to Sydney in 1992, where she began attending the University of New South Wales; her father had previously studied there under the Colombo Plan in the 1950s.[2] She completed a Master of Engineering Science degree in 1994, and later received a doctorate in environmental engineering in 2000.[3] Faruqi moved to Port Macquarie in 2001, but moved back to Sydney in 2006. She and her husband have two children together, including Osman Faruqi, a political journalist at Junkee.[2]


Engineering career[edit]

Before her appointment to the Legislative Council, Faruqi had a 25-year career as a professional engineer and academic. She worked in positions in local government, consulting firms and higher education institutions in Australia and internationally. These included roles such as Manager of Environment and Services at Mosman Council, Manager of Natural Resources and Catchments for Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, and as the Director of the Institute of Environmental Studies at UNSW.[4]

At the time she was appointed to parliament, she was Academic Director of the Master of Business and Technology Program and an Associate Professor at the Australian Graduate School of Management for UNSW.[4]

State politics[edit]

Farqui joined the Greens in 2004 in Port Macquarie and ran as a candidate for the Legislative Assembly seat of Heffron in 2011 and at the 2012 by-election. She was chosen to replace Cate Faehrmann in 2013, becoming the first Muslim woman to be a member of an Australian parliament.[5]

In parliament, Faruqi has carriage of the following portfolios for The Greens NSW: Animal Welfare, Drugs and Harm Minimisation, Environment, Lower Mid North Coast, Multiculturalism, Roads & Ports, Status of Women, Transport, Western Sydney, and Young People.

Faruqi is a vocal pro-choice advocate, introducing the first parliamentary bill to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales in June 2014.[6] Faruqi is also an advocate for public transport and environmental sustainability. In March 2014, she successfully moved a motion in parliament ordering the release of all government documents relating to the creation of the business case for the WestConnex motorway. This uncovered evidence of the NSW government's plan for mass outsourcing of public service work[7] and uncertainty among WestConnex staff and advisers on the viability of the project.[8]

Federal politics[edit]

On 25 November 2017, Faruqi defeated incumbent New South Wales Green's Senator Lee Rhiannon in a pre-selection contest for the first spot on the NSW Greens Senator ballot at the next Australian Federal Election.[9] This followed recent internal strife between Rhiannon and other Greens politicians.

Key published works[edit]

  • Faruqi, M. (2012). 'Embracing Complexity To Enable Change', in: D. Rigling Gallagher; N. Christiansen and P. Andrews; eds, Environmental Leadership: A Reference Handbook, Vol. 2, pp. 772–781, Sage, Thousand Oaks, California. ISBN 9781412981514
  • Harding, R, Hendriks, CM, and Faruqi, M. (2009). Environmental Decision-Making - Exploring complexity and context, Federation Press, Sydney. ISBN 9781862877481


  • Judy Raper Award for Leadership in Engineering, UNSW School of Chemical Engineering (2013).[10]
  • Edna Ryan Grand Stirrer Award for her tireless work on the Abortion Law Reform campaign, for "inciting others to challenge the status quo" [11]


External links[edit]