Australia is set to get its most diverse Cabinet ever, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tonight unveiling his team with a record ten of the 23 positions going to women.
Despite not cracking the 50/50 mark to become gender-balanced – as other countries like Canada, the US, New Zealand, France, Spain and Rwanda have achieved – Albanese’s cabinet is more diverse than previous Australian cabinets, among both the men and women who’ll serve.
History will be made not only on the record number of women sworn into Cabinet on Wednesday morning, but also with two Muslim ministers being sworn in for the first time, including Anne Aly taking on the Early Childhood Education and Youth portfolios (in the outer ministry), and Ed Husic taking on Industry and Science.
Still, men will hold some of the most senior leadership positions in the Labor Government, including three of the four leadership positions across the lower and upper houses. In Opposition, Labor has previously boasted a shadow Cabinet that was gender-balanced.
And while the majority of new MPs joining the Labor caucus in the lower house are female as we reported earlier today, Labor saw some of its most high profile women losing their seats at the election last week, including Terri Buttler and Kristina Keneally.
Albanese said during his press conference tonight that with ten women appointed it will be “the largest number of women who have ever served in an Australian cabinet”.
He added that across the ministry, there are 13 women included. He also noted that 19 women have been appointed to frontbench positions.
“This is an exciting team,” he said. “It’s a team which is overflowing with talent, with people who are absolutely committed to making a difference as ministers and assistant ministers in my government.”
“A record number in all three categories for women’s representation in cabinet, in ministry and in frontbench positions.”
The most senior woman in the Albanese Government is Senator Penny Wong, who was sworn in as Foreign Affairs Minister within days of Labor forming government. Katy Gallagher is Finance Minister and the new Minister for Women.
Tanya Plibersek takes on the Environment and Water portfolio, with climate change separately going to Chris Bowen.
Albanese’s record of ten women is a jump from the previous Cabinet under the Morrison Government — which was also a record — at 30.4 per cent female. And it marks a sharp shift from the past nine years, including during the Abbott Government when there was just one woman in his cabinet.
Earlier today, Albanese promised to lead an “inclusive” government — and one that would never single out already vulnerable people.
“We saw division during the election campaign whereby some very vulnerable people were singled out,” he said.
“We’re a better government than that. We shouldn’t do that. Ever. Ever.”
“What we should do is seek to reach out and to be an inclusive society and how we conduct ourselves is very much a part of that.”
Cabinet: The new ministers include:
Penny Wong: Senate leader and the Minister for Foreign Affairs
Katy Gallagher: Minister for Finance. Minister for Public Service. Minister for Women
Catherine King: Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
Linda Burney: Minister for Indigenous Australians
Clare O’Neill: Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security
Amanda Rishworth: Minister for Social Services
Julie Collins: Minister for Housing. Minister for Homelessness. Minister for Small Business
Michelle Rowland: Minister for Communications
Tanya Plibersek: Minister for Environment and Water
Madeleine King: Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
Don Farrell: Deputy Senate leader and the Minister for Trade and Tourism, and Special Minister of State
Richard Marles: Deputy Prime Mininster and the Minister for Defence
Tony Burke: Leader of the House. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations. Minister for the Arts
Mark Butler: Deputy leader of the House. Minister for Health and Aged Care
Chris Bowen: Minister for Climate Change and Energy
Jim Chalmers: Treasurer
Bill Shorten: Minister for the NDIS and Government Services
Mark Dreyfus: Attorney-General and Cabinet Secretary
Brendan O’Connor: Minister for Skills and Training
Jason Claire: Minister for Education
Murray Watt: Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Minister for Emergency Management
Ed Husic: Minister for Industry and Science
Those in the outer ministry include:
Matt Keogh: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel
Pat Conroy: Minister for Defence Industry, Minister for International Development and the Pacific
Stephen Jones: Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Financial Services
Andrew Giles: Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
Anne Aly: Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Youth
Anika Wells: Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Sport
Kristy McBain: Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories
Assistant ministers include:
Justine Elliot: Assistant Minister for Social Services, Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence
Matt Thistlethwaite: Assistant Minister for Defence, Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Andrew Leigh: Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury
Patrick Gorman: Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister
Jenny McAllister: Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy
Carol Brown: Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Ged Kearney: Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care
Emma McBride: Assistant Minister for Mental Health, Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health
Malarndirri McCarthy: Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians, Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health
Tim Ayres: Assistant Minister for Trade, Assistant Minister for Manufacturing
Anthony Chisholm: Assistant Minister for Education, Assistant Minister for Regional Development
Tim Watts: Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs