Udupi-origin woman excels in Australian politics | Mangaluru News – Times of India


UDUPI: What do Mala Adiga and Shilpa Hegde have in common? For starters, their roots are from Udupi district, and that they have made it big in politics on two different continents — the US and Australia. If Mala Adiga shot to fame on her appointment as policy director to Jill Biden, the first lady of United States, Shilpa is now part of the 19-member executive committee of the Liberal Party in Australia.
Shilpa hails from Vaddarse near Kota, and eminent journalist Vaddarse Raghuram Shetty is her maternal grandfather. She and her family have a 20-year association with the now ruling Liberal Party. Shilpa sees her elevation as a major recognition for the migrant community, and their role in building Australia.
In a telephonic chat from Melbourne, where she resides with her husband Dayanand Shetty and children Nihal, 18, and Sahil, 16, Shilpa said her role on the executive committee gives her a say in the affairs of the Liberal Party. “The committee takes decisions for the party on governance issues, in conducting business, vetting reports, and importantly, in pre-selecting candidates from within the party for state and national elections,” she said.
Notwithstanding her federal electoral loss in 2013 from Wills in Melbourne, Shilpa has endeared herself to her constituents in the party, says Dayanand. “Shilpa has shown the way in how immigrants can integrate with locals and empower themselves,” he said.
Nihal too is following in Shilpa’s shoes, and is a member of the youth wing of the party, the Young Liberals.
An alumna of NMAMIT, Nitte, where she pursued her BE in electronics and communications, Shilpa touches base with her roots often . She said the Indian diaspora is happy at her elevation, and views it as their means of empowerment in the future.
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Sagar Biswas

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