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Sam Lim Becomes Australia's First Ever Dolphin Trainer Elected To Government

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

Sam Lim Becomes Australia's First Ever Dolphin Trainer Elected To Government

Feel-good stories from the 2022 election keep on rolling in, with Sam Lim becoming the first-ever dolphin trainer to be elected to government. 

Labor candidate Sam Lim managed to flip the Perth seat of Tangney, becoming the first to do so in almost four decades. 

Lim let slip that he had quite the peculiar job title before becoming a politician - a dolphin trainer - and despite his latest win he claims it was his ‘best job ever’. 

The Labor MP was a highly decorated former policeman and began his career as a constable in the Royal Malaysian Police Force but walked away after two years as the pay was too low to survive on.


He told reporters on Sunday: “I applied for another job, my best job ever, dolphin trainer.

“I love it because dolphins are so genuine, dolphins never hurt you. If you feel hurt, you jump into the swimming pool. The dolphin will come to you and try to comfort you.

“When you got angry you jump into the pool, they run away. They just can feel you.”


Lim grew up in a ‘very poor family’ in Malaysia before he migrated to Western Australia with his young family in 2002 to give them a better life.

He told reporters: “When I went to fight these candidates to win the seat, I utilised all that determination that I gained in the first 15 years of my life and I achieve it.”

Lim joined the WA Police in 2006 and was later appointed to work with multicultural communities across Perth as a diversity engagement officer.


In 2020 he was awarded Police Officer of the Year for his work during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Despite the accolades and career achievements, he still remembers his time working with dolphins as his fondest memories.

In a Facebook post, he said: “I was considered a good trainer because it was important to me that the dolphins saw me as a friend.

“I would hang out with them, play with them, and I understood that some days they weren’t in the mood for training.

Credit: Facebook/Sam Lim - WA Labor for Tangney
Credit: Facebook/Sam Lim - WA Labor for Tangney

“I couldn’t blame them, I felt like that too sometimes. 

“Not long after I left this job, the marine park I was working for closed down and the dolphins were returned to the wild. 

“Looking back on it now, I think the wild is where they belong.”


Lim was the centre of one of the biggest upsets of the election, ousting Scott Morrison’s Assistant Minister Ben Morton.

The result saw a 10.4 per cent swing against Morton seeing Labor take the seat for the first time since 1983 as Lim was elected.

From dolphin trainer to federal MP, a true underdog story.

Featured Image Credit: ABC News. Facebook/Sam Lim - WA Labor for Tangney

Topics: Australia, Politics, Animals, Good News

Jayden Collins
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