New Australian government includes a record 13 female ministers

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese surrounded by female government ministers
The government of new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, front center, contains a record number of women in ministerial roles.
(Mick Tsikas / Australian Associated Press

The administration of new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese includes a record 13 women, including the first female Muslim to serve as a government minister and the second Indigenous person to be appointed minister for Indigenous affairs.

Wednesday’s government swearing-in ceremony, conducted by Gov.-General David Hurley in the capital, Canberra, came 11 days after Albanese led the center-left Labor Party to an election victory over the incumbent Liberals, Australia’s largest conservative grouping.

“Proud to lead an inclusive government that is as diverse as Australia itself,” Albanese wrote on Twitter. “Welcome to all these new Labor members.”


Youth Minister Anne Aly is Australia’s first female Muslim minister, while Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic is the first Muslim to serve in the Cabinet.

Linda Burney became the first woman, and only the second Indigenous person, to serve as Indigenous affairs minister.

Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong were sworn in early last week so that they could fly to Tokyo for a summit with President Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Of the 30 ministers appointed to the new government, nearly half are women. Women also hold a record 10 spots out of 23 Cabinet roles.

Although some votes are still to be counted from last month’s election, the Labor Party has secured enough seats to hold an outright majority in the 150-seat Parliament.

Albanese’s Cabinet includes some new faces as well as some lawmakers who served in the previous Labor government that last held power nine years ago.


“We have an overflow of talent on our side of the Parliament,” Albanese said, adding that “it’s the most experienced incoming Labor government in our history since federation.”

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Albanese has been getting support from an unusual source: British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg.

Bragg wrote on Twitter that he’d awoken to find that “the new prime minister of Australia had quoted my lyrics in his first press conference.”

Bragg went on to say that he wasn’t surprised, as he’s been friends with Albanese for more than 20 years after they met at a theater in Sydney and bonded over a shared love of music and compassionate politics.

“The challenges he faces are daunting and I don’t envy him his success,” Bragg wrote. “Some of us just sing about making the world a better place — he now has the responsibility of delivering on that promise.”