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, and  diplomat.  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.

He has published widely on international security matters, including with Foreign Affairs, the Guardian, the Independent, the Diplomat, and Lowy Institute,. Kadira has appeared on BBC, ABC, and  his research has been cited by New York Times and CNN among others. Kadira is finalising a book on 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 his opportunities, Kadira wants all kids and adults to have this right.  He believes in fighting for the underdog, whether workers or tradies.

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 completed a Masters in International Human Rights Law at Oxford University  – to help him fight for rights like the right to housing, which many Australians lack.

He is passionate about improving animal welfare, believing the laws are lagging behind community expectations.

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