To say women and culturally diverse people around the world have been transfixed and inspired by the ascension of Kamala Harris to the role of Vice President of the United States is probably an understatement.
The fact Harris is the first Asian and Black American female to hold this high office has been cause for genuine celebration all around the world. Millions of people watched the inauguration to see our new heroine wear a purple suit to take the oath of office before Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and Latino Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
“Maybe the rise of this Vice President resonated so strongly with me because I too am the daughter of an immigrant family.”
Over the summer holidays, I devoured Harris’ 2019 autobiography The Truths We Hold and Kamala’s Way, An American Life by Dan Moran. From my reading, it appears Harris is very much her mother’s daughter: the late Shyamala Gopalan was an Indian immigrant who worked as a single mother to raise Harris and her sister and who very much shaped the Vice President’s view of fairness and equality.
Maybe the rise of this Vice President resonated so strongly with me because I too am the daughter of an immigrant family. After my parents migrated from China, I was the first of my generation to be born in Australia, the first member of my family to study law, the first to be admitted to the New York Bar.
When I left university, I was the very first lawyer with a Chinese cultural background to be employed by Stephen Jaques & Stephen (which became Mallesons Stephen Jaques), in those days a largely white male Anglo Protestant firm with a handful of white women.