Sameer Pandey: Aiming to do better for the most vulnerable

Better care for elderly and providing opportunities for the youth, are high on priority for Sameer Pandey, Paramatta's Labor candidate.

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Tell us a bit about yourself 

Sameer Pandey: I am a father with two young children. I have lived in Western Sydney in 19 years. I currently serve as Deputy Lord Mayor of Parramatta and I am a small business owner, I understand the challenges families are facing. 

What would you say are the three main issues concerning the voters this election? 

Sameer Pandey: Better healthcare. Better schools for our growing community. Cost of living: ruling out the sale of Sydney Water, are some of the basic issues. Out of 13 suburbs in this electorate, 7 are in Parramatta, 5 in my own ward at Parramatta Council, so I’m well acquainted with the area and its strengths and challenges.

Why politics? What convinced you to join the party of your choice? 

Sameer Pandey: I got involved in politics for a simple reason – to serve the community. That is why I’m running as the Labor candidate for Winston Hills because Labor’s Fresh Start plan will deliver for the community. Politically I’ve always aligned with Labor’s philosophy of not leaving anyone behind. I do that in my own life and work. It has kept me in the party for 17 years now. Six of these have been in Council and I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to achieve there. In my opinion, there’s no fast tracks in politics. You have to build a background over a period of time, with patience and industry. If you want to make a difference, you’ll want to know what the issues and challenges are in your local area, the day-to-day concerns of the community you’re going to serve. I’ve spent the time doing this and built close connections.

As a father who is currently raising two young children with my wife Nimi, as Deputy Lord Mayor of Parramatta and as a small business owner, I understand the challenges families are facing. I believe we can do better in health, education, and transport. Better in supporting our local businesses. Better for the most vulnerable. Better in caring for our many inspirational elderly and in providing opportunities for our next generation – our youth.  

There’s been much discussion about better representation in politics: more women, more people of colour, more migrants. And yet high-profile mainstream politicians continue to be parachuted in, even in migrant-heavy seats. What are your thoughts here? 

Sameer Pandey: The redistributed electorate of Winston Hills, previously Seven Hills, with 61,489 expected electors, is among the top five densely populated electorates in the state and suburbs such as Kings Langley, Glenwood and Blacktown, has high concentration of POC voters. Chris Minns, our party leader in NSW has always maintained that Parliament should reflect the community. I think we’re doing very well in this regard in the upcoming election, by showing our strength in diversity. As a member of the subcontinent community, I am proud that the Labor Party—the party of multiculturalism— has entrusted me to deliver for the people of Winston Hills.

Sameer Pandey
(Source: Supplied)

What do you think are the pressing needs of the Indian Australian / South Asian community? 

Sameer Pandey: The Australia-India relationship has enriched our multicultural nation. Indian Australians and the South Asian community share many of the same issues that everyday Australians share. It is important to acknowledge the many Australian Indian essential workers in NSW, including workers in our health, education, emergency services, cleaning, transport and logistics, retail, engineering and technology sectors. They’re all looking for opportunities and improvements in transport, health, education, youth services, and lifestyle in general. Over five years, I have connected them all through community organisations, Local Area Command, businesses, charities, and faith groups.

Who inspires you? 

Sameer Pandey: Labor legend Bob Hawke. What he achieved for the country was phenomenal. Medicare for example, fundamentally changed the way health is managed in Australia.

What are you reading atm? Watching? Listening to?

Sameer Pandey: Political drama, of course.

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