The former Olympian who also won a gold medal will occupy a place in the Senate as the representative of the Northern Territory with the Australian Labour Party supporting her. After her opponent, Luke Gosling, conceded in the weekend elections, Ms Peris gave her victory speech as the newly-elected representative to occupy the Lower House seat of Solomon.
She was overwhelmed by her victory and broke down in front of Labour supporters. She made a reference to her selection for the Hockeyroos team in 1996 in the opening of her speech. She also spoke about her reservations when she was initially asked be a Labour party member.
Many rank-and-file members of the Labour party were disappointed when Australia's first female and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard decided to endorse Ms Peris to be the lead Senate candidate in the Northern Territory. Ms Gillard withdrew her support for then-Senator Trish Crossin.
The rejected candidate, Ms Crossin, criticised Ms Gillard about her decision since she felt there was no consultation with other party members. Darwin native Nova Peris said she had thought about her entrance to politics before making a final decision. She asked herself if she could do the job and represent the people of her region.
Ms Peris focused her campaign in the remote areas of the Northern Territory where indigenous voters were asking for more jobs and better healthcare services. On Sept. 7, she went to Dripstone High where a gymnasium was named after her and casted her vote.
Nova Peris will be sworn in at Canberra and start serving the people as a Senator immediately.
In 1996, Ms Peris became the first Australian with indigenous roots to win an Olympic gold medal in the Atlanta Games in women's hockey. In 1998, she was asked by former Prime Minister John Howard to become a member of the Constitutional Convention. In the2000 Sydney Games, she ran barefooted during the first leg of the torch relay as a tribute to her Aboriginal ancestors.