Australia’s youngest ever Senator has been sworn into Federal Parliament this morning, and Canberra isn’t quite ready for him yet.
Jordon Steele-John is not only the youngest ever person to serve in the Senate, he’s also the first person with a disability to sit in the Upper House.
And that’s caused a few issues.
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Newly sworn Greens senator Jordan Steele-John is congratulated by Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan in the senate chamber of Parliament House, Canberra this morning. Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian pic.twitter.com/BN280I2QhJ
— Geoff Pearson (@GCobber99) November 13, 2017
Senator Steele-Johns knuckles were grazed as he left the Upper House for the first time.
Despite being in Parliament for only a matter of hours, he’s already confronted obstacles many of his colleagues won’t.
His wheelchair barely fits through the narrow doorways of Parliament House, with his hands being grazed as he tried to navigate from office to office.
But rather than acting annoyed, the Senator simply asked the question why the building, which is supposed to be welcoming to all Australians, was so difficult to get around in.
The move from the Greens to introduce a politician in his early 20’s with a mild case of cerebral palsy has been seen as a much-needed shake-up of Australian politics.
Senator Steele-John has been sworn into Parliament after Scott Ludman resigned, due to holding dual citizenship.