Anthony Albanese boasts of appointing ‘largest number of women ever in an Australian cabinet’ | Labor party

Anthony Albanese has boasted of appointing a record number of women to his cabinet and ministry as the prime minister announced a frontbench team that shifted Richard Marles into defense and Clare O’Neil into home affairs.

As expected, Tanya Plibersek has been responsible for the environment and water, and Chris Bowen is the climate and energy minister, while campaign spokesperson Jason Clare is moving into education. Several newcomers – including Anika Wells, Kristy McBain, Ged Kearney, and Anne Aly – were promoted into the ministry.

“This is an exciting team, a team which is overflowing with talent, with people who are committed to making a difference,” Albanese said on Tuesday night.

“This is the largest number of women ever in an Australian cabinet, with ten 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 the cabinet, ministry, and frontbench positions.”

the full Albanese ministry and portfolio list

also in the PM’s announcement was Patrick Dodson, named as a special envoy for reconciliation and the implementation of the Uluru statement from the Heart

— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) May 31, 2022

Senator Don Farrell was promoted to deputy leader in the upper house, filling the spot vacated by Kristina Keneally’s unsuccessful run for Fowler. Farrell was named minister for trade and tourism and special minister of state.

Mark Butler retains the health portfolio, and Catherine King keeps infrastructure and transport.

But the reshuffle was larger than many had expected, with Plibersek relieved of her former portfolios of women and education. The finance minister, Katy Gallagher, was instead named minister for women.

There was speculation either Brendan O’Connor or Jason Clare, a breakout star for Labor during the election, would be moved into home affairs – a portfolio both men had previously held.

Anthony Albanese

But Albanese promoted O’Neil, the Victorian MP and former shadow minister for aged care services, into the sprawling national security portfolio.

Amanda Rishworth was promoted to social services minister, with her former portfolio of early childhood education – which included spearheading Labor’s childcare policies – going to Aly, the Western Australian MP, who was also given responsibility for youth.

Labor’s resounding success in the west was rewarded, with resources minister Madeleine King also being given charge of the northern Australia portfolio, Matt Keogh moving into the outer ministry in defense personnel and veteran’s affairs, and Patrick Gorman named as assistant minister to the PM.

Queensland MP Shayne Neumann, formerly the veteran affairs shadow minister, was not given a frontbench position. Instead, Wells was promoted to the assistant ministry responsible for aged care and sport.

Albanese also made key moves to implement his policies for Indigenous Australians. Linda Burney was relieved of the social services portfolio to concentrate full-time on her role as minister for Indigenous Australians; Senator Malarndirri McCarthy was named as assistant minister for Indigenous Australians and Indigenous health, while Senator Pat Dodson, who Albanese praised as the “father of reconciliation”, was given a non-ministry role as special envoy for reconciliation and the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Albanese said multiple times through the election campaign that the starting point for his first ministry would be that most shadow ministers would remain in their jobs. Albanese asked why his reshuffle was larger than expected: “We lost two cabinet ministers.”

The official frontbench unveiling came a week after Albanese and senior ministers Marles, Gallagher, Jim Chalmers, and Penny Wong were sworn in as an interim ministry.

Marles was initially sworn in as employment minister last week, a title that Albanese has now given to Tony Burke.

Chalmers retains his Treasury portfolio, Gallagher keeps finance, and Wong remains in foreign affairs.

Albanese said Plibersek was “very happy” to shift into the environment when he was asked why she was moved after a long stint in the education portfolio.

Despite boasting of the “record” number of women on his frontbench, Albanese was asked why three of the party’s four-person leadership team – himself, Marles, Wong, and the newly promoted Farrell – were men. He discussed the promotions given to high-profile women in his party and said he hoped Labor was “very close” to having a 50-50 gender split in the ministry.

There are ten women in the 23-member cabinet, three women in the seven-member outer ministry, six women in the 12-member assistant ministry, for 19 women in the 42-member team.

Albanese detailed his debut frontbench on Tuesday night, hours after the new Labor caucus met in the government party room for the first time.

“We need to change how politics operates in this country,” Albanese told the meeting. “We need to be more inclusive. We must be prepared to reach out [and] we can do that in this parliament.”

Just moments before the press conference began, seat Gilmore was called for Labor. The government had claimed a win in Gilmore earlier in the day, despite incumbent MP Fiona Phillips leading Liberal challenger Andrew Constance by just 222 votes on the official electoral commission count.

Albanese boasted that the Gilmore hold meant the Coalition had “failed to win a single seat” off Labor at the election.

Gilmore takes the government to 77 seats in the House of Representatives after it secured a majority on Monday night with Macnamara called for Labor.

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.