Sex Party Names Candidate for Bradfield ByElection

Ariana Rodriguez
DEAKIN WEST, Australia — The Australian Sex Party will nominate human rights advocate Zahra Stardust, who also is a burlesque dancer, for the Bradfield ByElection on Dec. 5.

The organization calls Stardust, aka Marianna Leishman, “a strong generation Y woman who believes in changing the world from upside down and using the stage as a space to talk about social injustice.”

Stardust is a feminist write and law graduate who also works as a trapeze artist, burlesque performer, showgirl, fire twirler and pole dance instructor.

“We look forward to hearing from and consulting with the youth and women of Bradfield about issues affecting their rights, priorities and desires and providing a more nuanced representation of the beautifully diverse electorate of Bradfield,” Stardust said.

Stardust is concerned with women in Bradfield because abortion remains illegal and children receive inadequate sex education. In addition, Bradfield residents have their Internet access filtered and that many people in the electorate were discriminated against because of the nature of their work, with no legal recourse under antidiscrimination law.

With the electorate being a hub of religious activity she believed that an examination of child sex abuse in religious institutions was an important child protection initiative that should commence in Bradfield. Stardust also will advocate in the federal parliament to have gay marriage legalized.

Stardust holds bachelor’s degrees in law and art and an ongoing master’s in gender and cultural studies.

She was a finalist in Miss Pole Dance Australia 2008, Most Unique Entertainer at Miss Nude NSW 2009 and has taught and performed in Amsterdam and Tokyo.

She has worked and interned with the United Nations Population Fund in Eritrea on sexual and worked at Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and campaigned with Amnesty International, Mahboba’s Promise and Oxfam Australia.