McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year 2020

Dr Anne Aly MP

Dr Anne Aly MP was named the 2020 McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year. She was recognised for her work in advocating to reduce violence against women and children and exposing extremist groups to greater government scrutiny.

Dr Aly disclosed her personal experiences with domestic violence in early 2020, advocating for a national campaign against domestic violence and government-sponsored safe housing. She is a key member of a parliamentary group for Action to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children, leveraging her personal experiences to help foster a national conversation around domestic violence.

In late 2020, Dr Aly worked with Labor Senator Kristina Kenneally to bring forward an inquiry into the rise of right-wing extremism, negotiating with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on the inquiry’s terms of reference. Dr Aly used parliamentary procedures to bring forward the inquiry by moving a dedicated motion in the House of Representatives. The inquiry was eventually developed in a bipartisan manner, with terms of reference agreed by both the Labor and Liberal parties.

As the first Muslim woman elected to the Australian Parliament, Dr Aly is a role-model for culturally and linguistically diverse women across Australia. She has rapidly become broadly recognised as a distinctive, positive voice in Australia’s political discourse.

The 2020 Selection Panel praised Dr Aly’s contribution to national policy on counter terrorism, lauding her leadership as a notable example of politicians leveraging their professional expertise to make a real difference in Australian politics. The Selection Panel also admired Dr Aly’s courage in disclosing her personal experience with domestic violence and noted that she has developed a reputation as an effective and savvy political operator.