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‘Never in a million years’ did international student Deena Tissera think she could win election

And it has been hailed as a huge gain for diversity and representation in the Granite City.

Fellow Aberdeen Labour member, Tauqeer Malik, became the first minority ethnic city councillor in Lower Deeside back in 2012.


Aberdeen Labour Tauqeer Malik, centre, was Aberdeen City Council’s first Bame councillor. He was re-elected on Thursday. Picture by Scott Baxter/DCT Media


But Ms Tissera said that upon landing at Aberdeen airport the year before, she “never in a million years” thought she could be elected too.

She told The P&J: “It goes to show that no matter where in the world you are, your dreams are valid.

“If you work hard and have a plan, you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.

“I have never seen a woman of colour as a leader in politics in Aberdeen.


I have never seen a woman of colour as a leader in politics in Aberdeen.

“And it was only last year that there were the first Bame women elected to the Scottish Parliament too.

“So it’s not a normality for me and I am happy to – you could say – shatter the glass ceiling.

“I am extremely delighted to take on the role and I think bring in a massive diversity representation.”

Ms Tissera landed at Aberdeen airport as an international student 11 years ago.

“It’s not just the fact I’m the first woman of colour but an immigrant,” she added.


“There is a major international student population in Aberdeen, which is an international city.

“The two universities here attract a lot of international students so I represent them now too.”

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