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Nerves and hint of boredom as MPs sworn in

AAP logoAAP 30/08/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

Her feet shaking, hands at times clutching at her heart, Anne Aly was nervous.

The Labor backbencher was just about to be sworn in as one of federal parliament's 37 newest MPs and the first Muslim woman parliamentarian.

As her name was about to be called out to take the oath of allegiance, Ms Aly wiped away a tear and took a breath.

Standing before the House of Representatives table, she tried to shake away the nerves but ended up fighting back tears. Her Labor colleague Tim Watts gave her a hug.

On the other side, the ministers for whom the swearing-in ceremony had become routine were checking their phones and running through notes. Been there, done that.

It was a stark contrast between the first-timers and the long-timers.

Labor's Andrew Leigh even snapped a picture in the chamber - considered a no-no in normal circumstances - playing Pokemon.

"Just removing strangers from the House before proceedings start," he joked on Twitter.

Of course, pomp and circumstance kicked off proceedings to officially open the 45th parliament.

There was the serjeant-at-arms placing the ceremonial mace below the table, the procession where all 150 MPs left for the Senate before returning to take their oaths or affirmations in the House, and the ceremonial dragging of the Speaker, Tony Smith, to his chair.

For some, the excitement died pretty soon.

It wasn't long before the kids in the gallery who at first were excitedly calling out "daddy!" to MPs below were bored and slumped over their seats.

And it wouldn't be parliament without a bit of sniping.

Manager of opposition business Tony Burke couldn't resist picking up on a reference to Macbeth in Labor leader Bill Shorten's speech about those "strutting and fretting upon the stage".

He made a jibe about an act of the play on betrayal and backstabbing.

"Welcome to Act four. We look forward to it unfolding."

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