September 20, 2015

Senator Marise Payne - Australia's first female Defence Minister

Senator Marise Payne, 51, has become Australia's first female Defence Minister. 

She is:

-  known as solid and a quiet achiever
-  politically a moderate 
-  from New South Wales
-  strong background in strategic and foreign policy
-  a member of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee
-  listed as “Senator for Western Sydney”
-  she is preferable to other contenders for the job, who were Joe Hockey (no longer a Minister) and Christopher Pyne (he is nicknamed "the poodle" :-)
-  Germany is the other country I can think of with a female Defence Minister.

Also some comments from the Sydney Morning Herald.


Bio details on Marise Payne's website are:

After growing up in Sydney and the NSW Southern Highlands, Marise Payne went on to complete her education at MLC School, Burwood and her Bachelor of Arts and Laws at the University of NSW.

A member of the Liberal Party since 1982, Marise was the National Young Liberal Movement's first female President. She also served on the NSW Liberal State Executive for 10 years and at branch and electorate levels.

Having served as a political adviser to some of the most significant figures in Liberal politics of their time, Marise went on to a career as a public affairs adviser in the finance industry.

In 1997 Marise filled a casual vacancy to represent the people of New South Wales in the Australian Senate, making her inaugural speech on 2 September 1997. She was then elected in 2001, 2007 and 2013.

Marise has served as Shadow Minister for Indigenous Development and Employment, Shadow Minister for COAG [Council of Australian Governments] and Shadow Minister for Housing. She plays an active role in the Senate and has been a member of both Joint and Senate committees, including as Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and as Chair of its Human Rights subcommittee.  

In 2013 Marise was appointed as Minister for Human Services in the Abbott Government.
From its inception in 2003, Marise was co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Dementia (PFOD) group until February 2011 and is currently co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Rugby League group.

Based in western Sydney for over ten years, Marise has come to know the local community well and now works alongside local organisations and businesses to help the region develop its great potential.

Outside parliament, Marise continues to work in the community on issues as diverse as human rights, emerging technologies and the implications of our ageing population.

Away from politics, she is a committed fan of the St George/Illawarra NRL team and the Geelong Cats, an enthusiastic supporter of the arts in Australia, spends as much time as she can in the Southern Highlands and she cooks for therapy. Marise and her partner live in a newly built home in Mulgoa."

 (with those relevant to defence-submarines bolded)

Prime Minister - Malcolm Turnbull
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister - Warren Truss
Cabinet Secretary
 - Arthur Sinodinis 
Indigenous Affairs Minister - Nigel Scullion
Foreign Minister - Julie Bishop 
Trade and Investment Minister - Andrew Robb 
Attorney General - George Brandis
Treasurer - Scott Morrison 
Assistant Treasurer and Small Business Minister - Kelly O'Dwyer 
Finance Minister - Mathias Cormann 
Agriculture and Water Minister - Barnaby Joyce
Industry, Innovation and Science Minister - Christopher Pyne 
Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Minister - Josh Frydenberg
Immigration and Border Protection Minister - Peter Dutton
Environment Minister - Greg Hunt
Health and Sport Minister - Sussan Ley
Defence Minister - Marise Payne 
Communications and Arts Minister - Mitch Fifield
Employment Minister and Minister for Women - Michaelia Cash 
Social Services Minister - Christian Porter 
Education and Training Minister
 - Simon Birmingham



MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,

I think Spain did had the first female Minister of Defence. I am not sure about France.


Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

Yes was a Spanish female Defence Minister 2008-2011.

Then this January 2015 photo is of 4 women Defence Ministers (of Germany, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands). Sweden has had two previous female defence ministers and Norway has had four.



G Klerk said...

We have in The Netherlands too a female minister of defence. Jeanine-Hennis Plasschaert. And she is as even unpopular as Ursula von der Leyen for the same reason; got the job because she is a women, not chosen for any skills. She floats on her supporting advisors en generals.

Anonymous said...

Hi G Klerk,
your criticism reflects todays political system in most countries. Ministers change, while the ministries are run by Secretaries of State that stay there for a long time even throughout changing governments.
A good example is Dennis Richardson:(
"Richardson is currently the Secretary of the Department of Defence, since 18 October 2012."
That means he now has his 4th boss with Mrs Payne.

So in my opinion, the minister has to have strong project management skills, but probably most important extraordinary communication skills. In the Australian case for example, to explain and convince the public of spending some billion $$$ for submarines. This is more important than expert knowledge.

Peter Coates said...

A learned discussion of Marise Payne and defence minister qualifications is here