21st of August 2013 was a beautiful day for the Pakistanis, and particularly for the UET alumni. Dr. Mehreen Faruqi, a Pakistani based Australian who now is a very well known political person in Australia, gave her inaugural speech in the New South Wales Legislative Council. She was highly applauded for her wonderful words by the present parliamentarians and a huge number of guests who had gathered to listen to her golden words.
Here is the link for viewing her speech:
Mehreen with her husband Mr. Omar Faruqi and two young kids moved to Australia in 1992 after getting the immigration. They both were UET graduates in Civil Engineering. Like other migrants they also faced hardships in getting settled during the early years. Omar had to drive the cab, while Mehreen pursued with her studies. She completed her masters in Environmental Engineering and PhD in Water Management from the University of New South Wales, Sydney.
She has worked in a number of diverse organisations, from local governments to multinationals and universities. This includes time as Manager of Environment and Services for Mosman Council, Manager of Natural Resources and Catchments for Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, and as an Associate Professor in Business and Sustainability at the University of New South Wales. She was Academic Director of the Master of Business & Technology Program and Associate Professor at the Australian Graduate School of Management, University of NSW before joining the NSW Parliament in June 2013.
She joined the Australian political party Greens in 2004 because of the Greens’ principles and policies on the environment, climate change, education, social justice, grassroots democracy and strong stance on the rights of indigenous peoples and multiculturalism. It is indeed matter of pride for the Pakistanis that Dr. Mehreen is now representing our great country Pakistan in Australia. She has brought respect for our beloved homeland and we all feel proud to be associated with her.
I know Dr. Mehreen personally as a nice family friend. There is a great coincidence in our relation. My father Dr. Javed A. Aziz was a student of Mehreen’s father Dr. Saeed uddin Khalifa in his B.Sc. Civil Engineering class of University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore (UET). Later my father also joined the same institution. Mehreen remained his student in her B.Sc. Civil Engineering class at the same institution after many years. Later I also graduated in Civil Engineering from the same institution. Like Mehreen and her husband Omar, I also settled in Australia as a skilled migrant.
I congratulate Dr. Mehreen from the core of my heart on this great achievement. Her mother was also present at NSW Parliament to listen to her great daughter. Later Mehreen threw a wonderful tea party for thanking the guests who had come to see her delivering her inaugural speech. She is the first Muslim female in the NSW Parliament.