Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has set a new record with the inclusion of ten women inside his 23-member cabinet. Morrison, his predecessor, had seven.
“This is far more representative than any government party room has ever been in our history. We are making progress,” Albanese said in a statement on Tuesday night.
“This is a record number in all three categories for women’s representation in cabinet, in ministry and in frontbench positions”.
Along with “tackling the national security challenges in our region,” the PM listed universal childcare, climate change, lifting wages, easing the cost of living and establishing a national anti-corruption commission as key priorities for his team.
Below, the ten women who make up the new Cabinet.
Senator Penny Wong, the minister for foreign affairs
Penny Wong is the most senior member of Albanese’s government. Wong, who is the Senator for South Australia, was first elected to the Senate for South Australia in 2001 and took her seat in 2002.
In 2013, Penny was appointed as Leader of the Government in the Senate, and later, as the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. Penny is the first woman to hold both these roles.
Since being sworn in, Wong has vowed that Australia will “increase our contribution to regional security” and work together with Pacific countries “like never before”.
Wong is the first Asian-Australian and the openly LGBTI+ person to hold the office of Australian Foreign Minister.
Katy Gallagher, the minister for finance, minister for the public service, and minister for women
Along with being the sixth Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory from 2011 to 2014, Katy has been a Senator for the Australian Capital Territory since the 2019 federal election.
She is set to have a busy schedule ahead, juggling three different (and very varied) sectors. While she has already served as the opposition for spokesperson for finance and the public service, her role as the minister for women is a new undertaking, which she has taken over from Tanya Plibersek.
Tanya Plibersek, the minister for the environment and water
Tanya who formally served the party’s deputy leader, has now been moved on from both portfolios she previously held in opposition, which came as a shock to many.
Albanese explained his decision, outlining it as a way to replace Terri Butler, who lost her Brisbane seat to the Greens. While she’s new to the role, the PM is confident in her abilities, commenting that she would be “outstanding”.
“We know that the impact of climate change is having a significant impact. Tanya has a long-term interest in the environment,” he elaborated.
Catherine King, the minister for infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government
After briefly serving as a minister in both the Gillard and Rudd Governments in 2013, Catherine has served as Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development since 2019, making this role a continuation.
Linda Burney, minister for Indigenous Australians
In 2003, Linda became the first Aboriginal person in NSW Parliament which saw her hold the seat of Canterbury for 14 years. Then, in 2016, she became the first Indigenous woman to sit in the House of Representatives and was appointed as shadow minister for human services. Two years later, she was appointed as shadow minister for preventing family violence, before moving to the shadow cabinet as shadow minister for families and social services.
Her key career highlights include the introduction of the Keep Them Safe reforms to parliament following a 2008 inquiry into child protection and steadily campaigning for a First Nations Voice to Parliament.
Amanda Rishworth, the minister for social services
Amanda has served as an ALP member for the House of Representatives seat of Kingston in South Australia since the 2007 election. After the 2016 election, she was named Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Shadow Minister for Defence Personnel. In late 2017 Rishworth was also named Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development and was promoted to Shadow Cabinet.
Julie Collins, the minister for housing, minister for homelessness, and minister for small business
Julie has represented the Tasmanian seat of Franklin since the 2007 federal election and has previously served as the Minister for Housing and Homelessness from July-September 2013.
Having lived in housing commission as a child, this role is close to her heart, and her district of Franklin has seen some of the toughest housing conditions in the country over the past year.
“Immense privilege to be named the Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness and the Minister for Small Business in the Albanese Labor government. I know how critical these issues are to our nation’s future and look forward to getting to work straight away,” she wrote on Twitter, following the announcement.
Michelle Rowland, the minister for communications
This role marks the first ministry in government for Michelle, who has previously worked as a senior lawyer specialising in competition and regulation in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors and also served as chair of Screen NSW between 2009-2010.
Her role will see her responsible for delivering the government’s promise of funding for the ABC, with the communications sector welcoming her with open arms, given her varied experience.
Madeleine King, the minister for resources and minister for Northern Australia
In 2018, Madeleine was given the consumer affairs portfolio and made an assistant minister in the small business and resources portfolios. Following the 2019 election, she was appointed as the Shadow Minister for Trade and Shadow Minister for Resources.
She is the only member from Western Australia to be sworn into Albanese’s cabinet.
Clare O’Neil, the minister for home affairs and minister for cyber security
Clare has been involved in parliament since 2013 as the Labor member for the Melbourne seat of Hotham. While in Opposition, Ms O’Neil served as Shadow Minister for Aged Care and Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and Future of Work.
Now, Clare replaces Kristina Keneally in Home Affairs and is taking over cybersecurity from Tim Watts, who is now Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs.