Kadira Pethiyagoda

Candidate for Aston

Dr Kadira Pethiyagoda, Labor's candidate for Aston, is an international security and foreign policy expert.

Kadira served Australia as a foreign service officer, a diplomat and advisor to the Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister.

His expertise also stems from having specialised on foreign policy as a visiting scholar at Oxford University and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. Kadira has a PhD in International Relations which was co-supervised by former Foreign Minister, Gareth Evans.

He has published widely on international security matters, including with Foreign Affairs, the Guardian, the Independent, the Diplomat, Lowy Institute, ASPI, major newspapers and Oxford Analytica. Kadira has appeared on BBC World, the ABC, and other broadcasters.

His research has been cited by New York Times, CNN, Reuters, LA Times and others. Kadira is finalising a book on Indian foreign policy. Kadira’s passion is fighting economic inequality – this is what drove him to run. The gap between the elite and everyone else is the greatest in decades.

After migrating from Sri Lanka at age one, his family lived in flats and units in a working class area in Melbourne’s south-east. After passing the entry exam to Melbourne High, Kadira decided he preferred to return to his local public school due to a strong connection to the community he grew up in.

Crediting Australia’s public education system with giving him the opportunity to make an impact, Kadira wants all kids to have this right.

Kadira has volunteered in charities supporting the vulnerable like the Red Cross and has been extensively involved in local community groups in Melbourne’s outer east and south-east.

He has just completed the coursework for a Masters in International Human Rights Law at Oxford University (expecting to graduate in March) – to help him fight for economic rights, like the right to housing, which many Australians lack. He is also dedicated to improving animal welfare.

Kadira believes in putting the local community first, and restoring the sense of community that has been lost in our neighbourhoods in recent decades. This includes by supporting local clubs, churches, temples and community groups.