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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

A record number for women’s representation in Australian politics

CANBERRA (CU)_Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced his frontbench team, with a record number of women appointed to a diverse cabinet that includes Indigenous Aboriginals and religious minorities. Two days after the 21 May election, the Labour leader formed an interim ministry, so that he could attend a Quad group meeting with the leaders of the US, Japan and India, in Tokyo. This week, he appointed his debut frontbench on Tuesday (31 May), just hours after the new Labor caucus met in the government party room for the first time.

The group includes a record number of women, with a total of 10 in the 23-member cabinet, compared to seven in the previous coalition government led by Former Liberal Party Leader Scott Morrison. Meanwhile, three women have been appointed to the seven-member outer ministry, six women in the 12-member assistant ministry, for a total of 19 women in the 42-member team.

Some of the key appointments included Tanya Plibersek being given responsibility for environment and water, while Amanda Rishworth was promoted to social services minister. Rishworth’s former portfolio of early childhood education was given to Anne Aly. Other new comers included Anika Wells, Ged Kearney and Kristy McBain. Meanwhile, Linda Burney was appointed as minister for Indigenous Australians and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy was named as assistant minister for Indigenous Australians and Indigenous health. The appointments came just a week after Penny Wong took office as Foreign Minister, to join PM Albanese at the Quad summit, while Katy Gallagher was appointed as Finance Minister on the same day.

The Australian Prime Minister boasted the appointment of a record number of women to his cabinet and ministry describing it as a team “overflowing with talent”. “This is an exciting team, a team which is overflowing with talent, with people who are absolutely committed to making a difference,” he said on Tuesday night. “This is the largest number of women ever in an Australian cabinet with 10 women in the cabinet. In addition to that… there are 13 women in the ministry and 19 frontbenchers [which includes assistant ministers]. A record number, in all three categories for women’s representation – in cabinet, in the ministry and frontbench positions.”

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