Melbourne, Sep.23 (ANI): Indian Australian Sabrina Houssami has said that racism is alive and kicking in Australia.
Houssami, who is also of Lebanese Muslim heritage and a former Miss World Australia, uses the soap box to make her point about an issue that she detests.
"I am born and raised in Australia and this is my country and I am part of it, so to be told otherwise is unfair and shocking," news.com.au quoted Houssami, who lives with her parents and younger sister Abbey on the banks of Sydney's Georges River, as saying.
"My father, who immigrated here when he was 14 years of age, experienced huge discrimination. He said Australia could be a very racist country, but I didn't believe him because I thought that was no longer part of this culture we lived in. (That was) until I got to the age of 13 or 14 and began getting bullied at school.
"I looked different from other kids. Then when I became a public figure I saw it again."
Growing up in the southwest town of Kemps Creek, Houssami says she was regularly called names and pointed at when she was a teenager.
"I am only human, so it was definitely hurtful," she says. "But I am a naturally resilient person so I would always bounce back.
"It was tough but you learn not to dwell on things and it makes you stronger in the end."
It is not hard to imagine this 23-year-old, with her unwavering passion and determination, one day debating her cause in Federal Parliament with the "underhanded and selfish" politicians who run the country.
"I have most certainly been approached to do politics," Houssami says, naming Tony Stewart, who was dumped as NSW small business minister by Premier Nathan Rees last November, as a supporter. (ANI)