Kenyan-born lawyer Lucy Gichuhi likely to take Australian Senate seat


Kenyan-born lawyer Lucy Gichuhi, 54, is likely to be senator as the High Court ruled that Family First senator Bob Day’s election was invalid.

The High Court is expected to order a recount and Ms Gichuhi is expected take the seat when parliament ­resumes on May 9.

Her journey was improbable and her path to take the Senate seat had all but ended but a chaotic exit by Mr Day after his company’s collapse resurrected her hopes.

She is expected to be Australia’s first African-born senator when business resumes next month.

She was born in Central Kenya and later on moved to Nairobi where she was raising a family.

Ms Gichuhi immigrated to Australia with her family in 1999 and settled in Adelaide. She joined the newly formed Family First party in 2001

She started her career with Big four audit firm Ernst & Young and later joined the South Australian Auditor-General’s Department.

At the department, she developed programs introducing migrants and international students to the state.

She also enrolled at the University of South Australia for a bachelor of law degree in November 2015.

She was endorsed as the second candidate on Mr Day’s ticket at last July’s election.

She missed out on the Senate seat and moved on volunteering as a family lawyer with the Women’s Legal Service in Adelaide.

On learning that she had a second chance at the seat, she was shocked but welcomed the challenge.

“I’m up for the challenge,” Mrs Gichuhi said.

“From now on we have to wait for the recount because that was ordered by the High Court and after that everything else will happen from there.

Questions have been raised about her citizenship but she says she is an Australian citizen and there should be no issue.

“I was once a Kenyan, now I’m an Australian. I didn’t give up [being Kenyan], look I can’t go into those details.”

Family First state leader Dennis Hood earlier in the day said the party had sought legal advice and there was no issue.

Family First lawyer Greg Griffen said: “The position of Lucy is that she is an Australian citizen and she is eligible, but that is a matter that will ultimately be determined by the High Court”.