This internet browser is outdated and does not support all features of this site. Please switch or upgrade to a different browser to display this site properly.

Kalgoorlie engineer strikes political gold as first female MP for Swan in 101 years

08/07/2022. By Carmelle Wilkinson. 10 min read.

Proud Curtin alumna and Swan MP Zaneta Mascarenhas.

Knocking on 45,000 doors over the course of her campaign was no easy feat, but new Swan MP Zaneta Mascarenhas was committed to knowing the needs of her community.

The engineer turned politician is the first female to hold the seat of Swan in its 101-year history – another enormous feat the Mum of two is humble to accept.

The new Federal Member for Swan, is a breath of fresh air, bringing diversity and optimism at a national level.

Born in Kalgoorlie and raised in Kambalda in the WA Goldfields, Zaneta is the only federal member of Goan-Indian descent in the House of Representatives.

“The importance of diversity is now, particularly in Federal Parliament,” she said.

“Whether you come from an arts background, or a science and engineering skillset like me, we have a real need for our society to be more holistic and diverse.”

As a proud Curtin alumna and former Guild President, Zaneta is no stranger to advocating for others.

“It’s who I am. I always say an engineer likes to solve problems, and as the federal member for Swan I’ll now be solving problems at a much higher level,” she said.

“I feel incredibly honoured the people of Swan put their trust in me, and I’m committed to creating a better future for all, by focusing on the cost of living and childcare, improving access to more secure, well-paid jobs and tackling climate change.”

Congratulations on winning the seat of Swan. The first female in this position in 101 years. How does it feel?

It’s surreal. It’s incredible that the people of Swan trusted me to be their local member, it’s a real honour. To be honest, I didn’t necessarily think that someone like me would be supported, but the people spoke. As a female, a person of colour and an engineer, I’m quite different compared to previous candidates or members. When I heard I was the first female in this position in 101 years I almost didn’t believe it.

Why do you think the community of Swan were ready for change now?

I think that previously they saw a government that was out of touch, and they wanted to have a local member and a federal government that took their responsibility seriously, listened and acted. I don’t think they saw that beforehand, but also, I think people wanted to see something different in their local federal member as well.

They recognise that one of the ways you can help address some of these issues is by having more diversity in our parliament. I’m sure there’s not many people that have started their political career wearing steel capped boots on a mine site, but I feel like that’s very representative of our electorate.

Zaneta with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the campaign trail in Perth.

Steel capped boots? I’m assuming that’s no fashion statement. How did you get into the mining industry?

I’m a Goldfields girl. I was born in the small mining town of Kalgoorlie and lived there for the first 17 years of my life. My parents were originally from Goa in India but grew up in Kenya. So, we migrated to Australia from Kenya.

I had a great childhood in Kalgoorlie. We had access to fantastic teachers and had so much freedom to explore. I grew up building cubby houses and chasing lizards. My interest in engineering came from my Dad and just growing up surrounded by the industry. Dad was a fitter and turner and would often encourage me and my sister to get on the tools. I also had a love for science and maths, so science and engineering was a natural choice for me.

After several years working as an engineer, when did you decide to move into politics?

For me, engineers are trained to solve problems, and there are a few problems in our Federal Government that need to be solved. In the past, I’ve worked in climate change action, helping big mining companies reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and looking at how they can decarbonise and prepare for our future world. I saw that while the community wanted action and business wanted action, the government was lagging. To now be a part of a team that can influence positive legislation is amazing, it was a very natural step coming into politics.

How have your family been throughout this incredible journey? I understand you have two little ones at home?

My son who’s four is totally fine, and understands a little about what Mummy does, but my two-year-old daughter misses me when I’m not there. My husband Sam has been incredible and to some extent I wouldn’t have done this without his support. I think what’s nice for us as a couple is that we’ve never had to say whose career is more important.

Zaneta and her husband Sam pictured here with their children Lincoln (4) and Felicity (2) have lived in Victoria Park for the past eight years.

As a proud Curtin alumna, can you please share your memories about your university days? I also understand you were a former Guild President?

Oh, I loved Curtin. Coming from a small country town, Curtin became my new community and I felt so connected. I’m a really proud alumna. I met my husband at Curtin in my final year, he’s also an engineer, and still have best mates that came here. I’ve returned several times to talk to students and will always have a wonderful relationship with the university. One of my highlights while at Curtin was being Guild President. Curtin was a community I really cared about and being Guild President allowed me the opportunity to be an advocate for my peers.

How does it feel to now be in a position to help shape decisions at the highest level? And what are some issues important to you and your electorate?

To have the opportunity to influence important decision makers is incredible, but where there is power you must use it wisely. Politics is a funny thing. The closer you are to it, the more issues you will see.

When I was door knocking, I spoke to many people and the thing that came up repeatedly was the cost of living. Being able to afford a roof over their head and food on the table was fundamentally the most important thing people worried about. The cost of living has been a challenge for so many and for us as a nation we need to do better.

Another focus of mine is to ensure people have access to higher education, whether that be TAFE or university and make health care more accessible, so they can live a happy, healthy and prosperous life.

Is climate change still high on your agenda?

Absolutely. I’ve worked in that area for so many years and I’m incredibly passionate about it. I really feel like this election was a climate change election. The window to work in this space is well and truly open now and we are finally on the right track. I feel very optimistic that the opportunity to discuss climate change is now.

___

Share this article:

Read more stories like this one

What a champion! 🌟🥈
 
Congratulations to former Curtin student @pbol800 on winning Silver in the Commonwealth Games 800m final.
 
What an outstanding result, we are so proud of your achievements.👏 Read Peter’s story to glory in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆

📸: @christo1966 / @athleticsaustralia
 
#CurtinCommons #ThisisAthletics #BoldInGold #CommonwealthGames #Birmingham #Birmingham2022 #B2022 #GreaterTogether #AustralianAthlete #800m

What a champion! 🌟🥈

Congratulations to former Curtin student @pbol800 on winning Silver in the Commonwealth Games 800m final.

What an outstanding result, we are so proud of your achievements.👏 Read Peter’s story to glory in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆

📸: @christo1966 / @athleticsaustralia

#CurtinCommons #ThisisAthletics #BoldInGold #CommonwealthGames #Birmingham #Birmingham2022 #B2022 #GreaterTogether #AustralianAthlete #800m
...

The weather may be miserable, but Koorliny Way isn’t! ☀️🌈
 
The colourful Koorliny Way mural by @siouxtempesttartist located in the new Curtin Exchange Precinct will brighten your day.
 
Go check it out when you’re next on campus, you won’t regret it! 🙌
 
📸: @curtin_exchange
 
#CurtinLife #CurtinExchange #KoorlinyWay #perth #perthart #perthmural #perthstreetart #perthartists #unilifestyle

The weather may be miserable, but Koorliny Way isn’t! ☀️🌈

The colourful Koorliny Way mural by @siouxtempesttartist located in the new Curtin Exchange Precinct will brighten your day.

Go check it out when you’re next on campus, you won’t regret it! 🙌

📸: @curtin_exchange

#CurtinLife #CurtinExchange #KoorlinyWay #perth #perthart #perthmural #perthstreetart #perthartists #unilifestyle
...

Have you seen the Curtin 20|30 Alumni Retrospective yet? 🤔💛
 
Celebrating 20 years of Fashion and 30 years of Interior Architecture, this exhibition profiles the rich tapestry of course experiences and graduate achievements over the years.
 
The exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of Curtin’s School of Design and Built Environment.
 
Don’t miss out, go check it out before it closes this Friday. Details below. 👇
 
🗓: Tuesday 21 June – Friday 5 August | 9AM – 6PM
 
📍: Exhibition Space, Building 418 (Level 1), Curtin Exchange Precinct
 
Read more about the story behind the exhibition in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. ☝️

#CurtinGrad #fashionshow #sustainablefashion #alumni #retrospective #runwayfashion #wadesigners #interiordesign #australianarchitecture #perthfashion #australianfashion #perthfashiondesigner

Have you seen the Curtin 20|30 Alumni Retrospective yet? 🤔💛

Celebrating 20 years of Fashion and 30 years of Interior Architecture, this exhibition profiles the rich tapestry of course experiences and graduate achievements over the years.

The exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of Curtin’s School of Design and Built Environment.

Don’t miss out, go check it out before it closes this Friday. Details below. 👇

🗓: Tuesday 21 June – Friday 5 August | 9AM – 6PM

📍: Exhibition Space, Building 418 (Level 1), Curtin Exchange Precinct

Read more about the story behind the exhibition in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. ☝️

#CurtinGrad #fashionshow #sustainablefashion #alumni #retrospective #runwayfashion #wadesigners #interiordesign #australianarchitecture #perthfashion #australianfashion #perthfashiondesigner
...

Is it possible to launch a successful start-up with your best friend? 🤔💭
 
Curtin graduates Gene Brutty (BA Creative Advertising 2009) and Tim Seddon (BA Creative Advertising 2006) met on the first day of their agency job in Perth 15 years ago and have never looked back.
 
Following a stint as Creative Directors for @apple in LA where the pair helped launch the iPhone 12, they decided to join forces to start their own Creative Innovation Consultancy, IMAGINE IF LABS.
 
Despite the crazy challenges of the pandemic, a looming recession and working in different time zones, with Tim based in Tokyo and Gene in Perth, the duo managed to operate at a profit during their first full year of business.
 
Here are Gene and Tim’s top three secrets to success:
 
✔️ 𝐁𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐲.
 
✔️ 𝐁𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫. Transparent and honest communication on all fronts, business and friendship, will mean you don't need to sacrifice one for the other.
 
✔️ 𝐁𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡. Progress has a funny way of disguising itself as chaos and if you manage to ride the ups and downs you'll make it through (at least that's what we're telling ourselves).

Update your details to stay connected with other inspiring grads via link in bio. 👆
 
#CurtinGrad #InternationalFriendsDay #business #friendship #startup #startupbusiness #smallbusiness #startuptips #businesstips #smallbusinesstips #perthstartups #startupstories

Is it possible to launch a successful start-up with your best friend? 🤔💭

Curtin graduates Gene Brutty (BA Creative Advertising 2009) and Tim Seddon (BA Creative Advertising 2006) met on the first day of their agency job in Perth 15 years ago and have never looked back.

Following a stint as Creative Directors for @apple in LA where the pair helped launch the iPhone 12, they decided to join forces to start their own Creative Innovation Consultancy, IMAGINE IF LABS.

Despite the crazy challenges of the pandemic, a looming recession and working in different time zones, with Tim based in Tokyo and Gene in Perth, the duo managed to operate at a profit during their first full year of business.

Here are Gene and Tim’s top three secrets to success:

✔️ 𝐁𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐲.

✔️ 𝐁𝐞 𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫. Transparent and honest communication on all fronts, business and friendship, will mean you don't need to sacrifice one for the other.

✔️ 𝐁𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡. Progress has a funny way of disguising itself as chaos and if you manage to ride the ups and downs you'll make it through (at least that's what we're telling ourselves).

Update your details to stay connected with other inspiring grads via link in bio. 👆

#CurtinGrad #InternationalFriendsDay #business #friendship #startup #startupbusiness #smallbusiness #startuptips #businesstips #smallbusinesstips #perthstartups #startupstories
...

When an opportunity arose to safeguard precious artworks by children of the Stolen Generations at @johncurtingallery, Carrolup Manager Kathleen Toomath didn’t hesitate.
 
Created by the renowned Carrolup child artists of the 1940s, including her extraordinary Mum Alma Toomath, the treasured pieces give us hope for a better and brighter future.
 
Last month a selection of the treasured collection made their way to the UK, where they are currently on display in Manchester at @porticolibrary (and later Glasgow) in the hope of locating missing Carrolup artworks.
 
The pieces were taken overseas in the 1950s, with many never making the journey back to Australia.
 
A year since her Mum’s passing, Kathleen shares her vision for the collection and how these incredible renditions of Australia’s magical landscape can pave the way for healing.

Read our full interview with Kathleen in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆🏽
 
📸: Kathleen Toomath 

#CurtinCommunity #CurtinCommons #JohnCurtinGallery #Carrolup #CarrolupCentre #FirstNations #AboriginalArt #Truthtelling #Reconciliation #Belonging #StolenGenerations #Aboriginal #AboriginalArt #Artwork

When an opportunity arose to safeguard precious artworks by children of the Stolen Generations at @johncurtingallery, Carrolup Manager Kathleen Toomath didn’t hesitate.

Created by the renowned Carrolup child artists of the 1940s, including her extraordinary Mum Alma Toomath, the treasured pieces give us hope for a better and brighter future.

Last month a selection of the treasured collection made their way to the UK, where they are currently on display in Manchester at @porticolibrary (and later Glasgow) in the hope of locating missing Carrolup artworks.

The pieces were taken overseas in the 1950s, with many never making the journey back to Australia.

A year since her Mum’s passing, Kathleen shares her vision for the collection and how these incredible renditions of Australia’s magical landscape can pave the way for healing.

Read our full interview with Kathleen in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆🏽

📸: Kathleen Toomath

#CurtinCommunity #CurtinCommons #JohnCurtinGallery #Carrolup #CarrolupCentre #FirstNations #AboriginalArt #Truthtelling #Reconciliation #Belonging #StolenGenerations #Aboriginal #AboriginalArt #Artwork
...

The countdown is on for Telethon Weekend 2022, we are just three months out! 🎉👏
 
Meet Postdoctoral Research Associate and Curtin graduate Lexy Staniland (BA Psych Hons, 2018) who was brought on board to deliver the Help While Our Children Wait project, funded by @telethon7.
 
Your generous donation to Telethon this year could help further the Curtin-led research project to develop evidence-based strategies to expand access to youth mental health care in WA.
 
“Being funded by Telethon means our work relies on the generosity of West Australians who tune in to Telethon Weekend each year. With their support, we can realise our mission to improve the wellbeing of teenagers on waiting lists for mental health services.”
 
- Lexy Staniland
 
Telethon Weekend will be held on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23 at RAC Arena. 🗓
 
Read more about Help While Our Children Wait in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆
 
#CurtinCommunity #CurtinResearch #telethon7 #mentalhealth #wellbeing #children #youth #research

The countdown is on for Telethon Weekend 2022, we are just three months out! 🎉👏

Meet Postdoctoral Research Associate and Curtin graduate Lexy Staniland (BA Psych Hons, 2018) who was brought on board to deliver the Help While Our Children Wait project, funded by @telethon7.

Your generous donation to Telethon this year could help further the Curtin-led research project to develop evidence-based strategies to expand access to youth mental health care in WA.

“Being funded by Telethon means our work relies on the generosity of West Australians who tune in to Telethon Weekend each year. With their support, we can realise our mission to improve the wellbeing of teenagers on waiting lists for mental health services.”

- Lexy Staniland

Telethon Weekend will be held on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23 at RAC Arena. 🗓

Read more about Help While Our Children Wait in #CurtinCommons via link in bio. 👆

#CurtinCommunity #CurtinResearch #telethon7 #mentalhealth #wellbeing #children #youth #research
...

Imagine lying in your bed at night hearing the ominous sounds of missiles and rockets flying overhead.
 
Growing up in Afghanistan, surrounded by war, violence and danger, #CurtinGrad Ezz Rahmati (BS Nursing, 2022) dreamt of a better life, where he could have access to education.
 
“Education is the biggest weapon you can use to fight any war. Afghanistan wouldn’t be where it is today if people there had access to education.”
 
Graduating from Curtin earlier this year, Ezz hopes to make common medicine more accessible in developing countries.
 
“Having access to better health care and medicine could save so many lives. Influenza and dehydration for instance are quite treatable in Australia, but in some countries, you could die from it.”
 
Read Ezz’s inspiring story in this month’s #CurtinCommons via the link in bio. 👆
 
#CurtinGrad #refugee #nursing #graduate #education #healthsciences #healthcare #humanrights #equity #highereducation #perth #campuslife #unilife #perthgram #university

Imagine lying in your bed at night hearing the ominous sounds of missiles and rockets flying overhead.

Growing up in Afghanistan, surrounded by war, violence and danger, #CurtinGrad Ezz Rahmati (BS Nursing, 2022) dreamt of a better life, where he could have access to education.

“Education is the biggest weapon you can use to fight any war. Afghanistan wouldn’t be where it is today if people there had access to education.”

Graduating from Curtin earlier this year, Ezz hopes to make common medicine more accessible in developing countries.

“Having access to better health care and medicine could save so many lives. Influenza and dehydration for instance are quite treatable in Australia, but in some countries, you could die from it.”

Read Ezz’s inspiring story in this month’s #CurtinCommons via the link in bio. 👆

#CurtinGrad #refugee #nursing #graduate #education #healthsciences #healthcare #humanrights #equity #highereducation #perth #campuslife #unilife #perthgram #university
...

⚡️Nasi Goreng Pattaya ⚡️
 
Need a healthy delicious work lunch that’s super easy to prep and won’t break the budget? #CurtinGrad Kalyisah Farid shares her family’s favourite Nasi Goreng Pattaya. 😋
 
Ingredients:
Fried rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic clove, minced
2 small shallots, finely sliced
100g meat of choice (cubed, boneless chicken; prawns, tails removed)
1 small chilli, finely sliced, optional
1 egg
2/3 cup mixed vegetables, fresh or frozen
2 cups cooked rice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
¼ tsp pepper
Omelette
1 tbsp oil
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
Pinch of white pepper
Garnish
Cucumber slices
Red chilli, finely sliced
Chilli sauce or tomato sauce
 
Recipe:
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan or wok on high, until hot. Add the garlic and shallot and cook until lightly browned.
2. Add in meat and cook for 2 minutes until mostly cooked. Add chilli if using.
3. Whisk one egg. Add to hot wok and mix quickly until cooked. Add mixed vegetables. Toss through.
4. Add cooked rice, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and salt and white pepper to taste. Stir fry and toss until all ingredients are cooked and combined. Set aside.
4. Whisk two eggs. Add salt and pepper.
5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in clean, large pan or wok to medium heat. Add whisked egg mixture, swirling and spreading the egg evenly across the pan. Bring to low heat and cook for 20-30 seconds.
7. Once mostly cooked, add 1 cup of fried rice to the centre of the omelette.
8. Fold the sides of the omelette over the rice to make a parcel.
9. Place a plate over the parcel and gently flip the nasi goreng pattaya onto the plate.
10. Garnish with cucumber slices, fresh chilli and chilli or tomato sauce.
 
Did you give it a go? Make sure to tag us to get featured on our Instagram stories. 🤞
 
If you’re a #CurtinGrad with a delicious recipe to share? DM us for a chance to get featured. ✉️
 
#CurtinGradCookOff #nasigoreng #nasigorengpattaya #malaysian #eggrecipes #friedricerecipes #perthfoodgram #perthtodo #perthisok #perthfoodie #lunchrecipes #nutrition #foodstagram #healthyfoodideas #worklunch

⚡️Nasi Goreng Pattaya ⚡️

Need a healthy delicious work lunch that’s super easy to prep and won’t break the budget? #CurtinGrad Kalyisah Farid shares her family’s favourite Nasi Goreng Pattaya. 😋

Ingredients:
Fried rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic clove, minced
2 small shallots, finely sliced
100g meat of choice (cubed, boneless chicken; prawns, tails removed)
1 small chilli, finely sliced, optional
1 egg
2/3 cup mixed vegetables, fresh or frozen
2 cups cooked rice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
¼ tsp pepper
Omelette
1 tbsp oil
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
Pinch of white pepper
Garnish
Cucumber slices
Red chilli, finely sliced
Chilli sauce or tomato sauce

Recipe:
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan or wok on high, until hot. Add the garlic and shallot and cook until lightly browned.
2. Add in meat and cook for 2 minutes until mostly cooked. Add chilli if using.
3. Whisk one egg. Add to hot wok and mix quickly until cooked. Add mixed vegetables. Toss through.
4. Add cooked rice, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and salt and white pepper to taste. Stir fry and toss until all ingredients are cooked and combined. Set aside.
4. Whisk two eggs. Add salt and pepper.
5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in clean, large pan or wok to medium heat. Add whisked egg mixture, swirling and spreading the egg evenly across the pan. Bring to low heat and cook for 20-30 seconds.
7. Once mostly cooked, add 1 cup of fried rice to the centre of the omelette.
8. Fold the sides of the omelette over the rice to make a parcel.
9. Place a plate over the parcel and gently flip the nasi goreng pattaya onto the plate.
10. Garnish with cucumber slices, fresh chilli and chilli or tomato sauce.

Did you give it a go? Make sure to tag us to get featured on our Instagram stories. 🤞

If you’re a #CurtinGrad with a delicious recipe to share? DM us for a chance to get featured. ✉️

#CurtinGradCookOff #nasigoreng #nasigorengpattaya #malaysian #eggrecipes #friedricerecipes #perthfoodgram #perthtodo #perthisok #perthfoodie #lunchrecipes #nutrition #foodstagram #healthyfoodideas #worklunch
...