Federal Labor MP Michelle Rowland, and her husband Michael Chaaya, welcomed their first child today, February 23; a daughter named Octavia Susan-Marie. Octavia Chaaya was born at 6.29 am this morning at Norwest Private Hospital, weighing 2.93 kg and 46.5 cm long.

Michelle won the seat of Greenway in 2010, having been a local councillor and deputy Mayor of Blacktown. Her background is in corporate law, and she was a director of the Western Sydney Area Health Service for several years.

Michael is a partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth law firm, and specialises in financial services reform and regulation, working closely with many government bodies. He was awarded the Australian Centenary medal for service to the law, youth and community in 2003 and is currently a director of the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre.

As Michelle is on maternity leave, she will not be able to take part in the ballot on Monday morning, when Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd are expected to vie for leadership of the Australian Labor Party, and leadership of the nation. Michelle’s absence means that Julia Gillard will have one less supporter, and raises the remote possibility of the ballot ending in a tie.