Mehreen Faruqi joined the NSW Legislative Council in June 2013, the first Muslim woman elected to any Australian Parliament. She spearheaded the campaign in opposition to the infamous ‘Zoe’s Law’ Bill which threatened women’s control of their bodies and which eventually lapsed due to community pressure.
After consulting widely she drafted a Bill that would remove abortion from the Crimes Act, establish safe access zones around reproductive health clinics and compel doctors to refer patients to another health practitioner if they had a conscientious objection. She mounted the #End12 campaign to support the proposed legislative change and to lobby politicians to vote in favour.
While unsuccessful this time, abortion has once again been placed squarely on the political agenda, stirring debate and reminding the community that abortion is still a crime in NSW.
Mehreen Faruqi has certainly incited others to challenge the status quo and so is rightly deserving of the Grand Stirrer Award.