Designation: Minister for Women, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Marise Ann Payne is an Australian politician and legislator who served as minister for foreign affairs and as minister for women from 2018 to 2022. She has been a senator for New South Wales since 1997 as a representative of the Liberal Party. In 2022, she became the longest-serving female senator in Australian history, with over 25 years in office.
Payne was born in Sydney to Ann Noreen and William Payne. She graduated from the University of New South Wales, where she graduated with both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees. She has been in a long-term relationship with Stuart Ayres, who is a minister in the New South Wales government.
Marise Payne, Australia’s first female defense minister, grew up in Bardwell Park, in Sydney’s southern suburban area. She was a student at MLC school before attending University. She got into an accident when she was in her second year at the University and received serious injuries to her neck. She bounced back from the life-threatening injuries she sustained and went on to become one of the most prominent and influential legislators in Australian history. Payne became a member of the Liberal Party in 1982. She was the state president of the New South Wales Young Liberals from 1987 to 1988. She also became the first woman to become the federal president of the Young Liberals.
Payne occupied no governmental office during her first decade in the Senate, from 1997 to 2007. Later, she was able to hold the position of a shadow parliamentary secretary after the Coalition lost the 2007 election, with responsibility for foreign affairs (2007–2008) and international development assistance and indigenous affairs (2008–2009). In 2013, Payne got appointed as the Minister for Human Services in the Abbott Government. Her major policies during this time include the decision to close down Medicare shopfronts on Saturdays, “myGov hybrid government shopfronts,” designed to help customers with setting up online accounts for government services like Centrelink, Medicare, the Australian Taxation Office, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Marise Payne created history by becoming the Minister for Defense in the Turnbull Government on 21 September 2015. She introduced revolutionary changes to the Australian Military and Defense through various policies like the 2016 Defense White Paper and a $50 billion contract to build a new fleet of submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.
Payne garnered worldwide attention as the foreign minister in the Morrison government through her stances on various world issues like China’s handling of the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan and called for an inquiry into this matter. Payne is a republican and served as vice-chair of the Australian Republican Movement in the 1990s. She got re-elected as a senator in 2022 and is currently a member of the opposition.
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