First Bangladeshi Wins Australian Council Polls

by Kamrul Ahsan Khan | September 18, 2008 11:12 pm

Prabir Maitra, a Bangladeshi now leaving in Australia, has been elected a Councillor in the elections just held to the Parramatta City Council in Sydney defeating his opponents with a huge difference in votes. He is the first Bangladeshi to be elected to any public office in Australia.

Son of Ranesh Maitra, a senior leftist politician, and Purobi Maitra, a Mahila Parishad activist, Prabir Maitra joined the Australian Labor Party in 2001 and has since remained actively involved in mainstream politics in Australia. His nomination from the ruling Australian Labor Party was a recognition of his active engagement in politics over the last seven years.
Prabir Maitra completed his Master’s in Electronics Engineering from Bulgaria and returned home in 1987. As a student, he was an active member of Bangladesh Students Union, a progressive and non-communal organization. After serving in many reputable organizations in Bangladesh, including CARE-International as an IT Specialist, he migrated to Australia in 1997 along with his wife Dr. Aparna Goswami and daughter Ihita Maitra. Later they had a son born in Australia. Mr. Maitra now works for the Childrens Hospital at Westmead, Sydney.

Mr. Maitra is actively involved in a number of social and cultural organisations in Sydney including Bangladesh Scoitey for Puja and Culture, Australian Forum for Minorities in Bangladesh, Bengali Association of New South Wales, Bangladesh Environment Network(BEN) and Ekushey Academy Australia. He held executive positions in many of them. As a human rights activist, he mobilized public opinion against persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in Bangladesh and earned popularity among all sections of people here irrespective of caste, creed, religion and nationality.

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