Anthony Albanese reveals record number of women, major reshuffle in new ministry

A record number of women will serve in the new government's cabinet and ministry after Labor revealed its front bench.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed a major reshuffle of portfolios in announcing the ministry, as deputy Labor leader Richard Marles takes the nation's defence portfolio and Clare O'Neil becomes Home Affairs and Cyber Security Minister.

Jason Clare will take on the education ministry, while Tanya Plibersek moves to environment and water, and Brendan O'Connor becomes Minister for Skills and Training. Katy Gallagher will be Minister for Women, in addition to holding the finance and the public service portfolios.

Queensland senator Murray Watt becomes Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and has the emergency management portfolio, while Bill Shorten will have responsibility for the NDIS and government services.

Tasmanian MP Julie Collins will be responsible for Labor's housing agenda, and Kristy McBain will be elevated to the outer ministry, overseeing regional development.

Mr Albanese said his new ministry would be part of the most experienced incoming Labor government in history as he revealed his major appointments and said they had "hit the ground running".

"This is an exciting team. It's a team which is overflowing with talent, with people who are absolutely committed to making a difference as ministers and assistant ministers in my government," he said.

Anthony Albanese will have 10 women in cabinet.

Anthony Albanese will have 10 women in cabinet.

Mr Albanese said the loss of former Griffith MP Terri Butler and outgoing Labor senator Kristina Keneally at the election was the reason behind the larger-than-expected reshuffle.

Ms Butler had held the environment portfolio, while Senator Keneally would have been the frontrunner to become Labor's home affairs minister had she won the seat of Fowler.

There are 10 women in cabinet, 13 in the ministry and 19 on the front benches - record female representation in all three categories.

Ms McBain is one of the big winners from the reshuffle. The Eden-Monaro MP leapfrogged more seasoned colleagues to secure a place in Mr Albanese's first ministry.

Mr Albanese praised Ms McBain for her leadership during the Black Summer bushfires, and for turning Eden-Monaro from a hyper-marginal seat into a relatively safe one at this month's election.

"When the Morrison government went missing, Kristy McBain stepped up," Mr Albanese said of his colleague's actions during the crisis.

The Prime Minister unveiled his new ministry after urging his colleagues to remain united as he tries to prevent the division and dysfunction that plagued Labor during its previous term in power.

Mr Albanese says Labor can secure the "back-to-back" election wins it needs to deliver nation-changing reforms in childcare and energy policy if it maintains the discipline in government that it demonstrated in the past three years of opposition.

A triumphant Mr Albanese delivered the message to the Labor caucus ahead of the swearing of his new frontbench at 9.30am on Wednesday.

Mr Albanese is set to lead a majority government when the Federal Parliament returns in the final week of July, after Josh Burns won in Macnamara and Fiona Phillips retained the NSW South Coast seat of Gilmore, handing Labor 77 seats.


Mr Albanese was a senior frontbencher in the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments, a term in power defined by internal divisions and ultimately ended with a thumping election defeat to the Tony Abbott-led Coalition in 2013.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese addressed his Labor colleagues inside Parliament House. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese addressed his Labor colleagues inside Parliament House. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

In his first speech to the new caucus, Mr Albanese said Labor's ability to remain disciplined and united under his leadership was a major factor behind its election win on May 21.

"We refused to go off track," he said.

"We had a good story to tell. We weren't intimidated by anyone, we didn't get distracted, we stayed on course. The discipline that we showed was magnificent.".

Mr Albanese spoke repeatedly during the campaign about planning for not just the 2022 election but the next one too, believing that it would take multiple terms in office to achieve Labor's long-term ambitions.

This includes introducing universal childcare.

Mr Albanese told colleagues on Tuesday that it would deliver those nation-changing reforms if it remained united.

"The way that you really change the country is to entrench reforms and to do that you need a long-term Labor government," he said.

"It's only Labor that does the big things in this country."

Labor's ministry


  • Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister
  • Richard Marles, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Defence.
  • SenatorPenny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Dr Jim Chalmers, Treasurer
  • SenatorKaty Gallagher, Minister for Finance, Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Women
  • Senator Don Farrell, Minister for Trade and Tourism, Special Minister of State
  • Tony Burke, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Minister for the Arts
  • Mark Butler Minister for Health and Aged Care
  • Chris Bowen, Minister for Climate Change and Energy
  • Tanya Plibersek, Minister for the Environment and Water
  • Catherine King, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
  • Linda Burney, Minister for Indigenous Australians
  • Amanda Rishworth, Minister for Social Services
  • Bill Shorten, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Minister for Government Services
  • Mark Dreyfus QC, Attorney-General, Cabinet Secretary
  • Brendan O'Connor, Minister for Skills and Training
  • Jason Clare, Minister for Education
  • Julie Collins, Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness, Minister for Small Business
  • Michelle Rowland, Minister for Communications
  • Madeleine King, Minister for Resources, Minister for Northern Australia
  • Senator Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Minister for Emergency Management
  • Ed Husic, Minister for Industry and Science
  • Clare O'Neil, Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Cyber Security


  • Matt Keogh, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel
  • Pat Conroy, Minister for Defence Industry, Minister for International Development and the Pacific
  • Stephen Jones, Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Financial Services
  • Andrew Giles, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
  • Anne Aly, Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Youth
  • Anika Wells, Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Sport
  • Kristy McBain, Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories


  • Justine Elliot, Assistant Minister for Social Services, Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence
  • Matt Thistlethwaite, Assistant Minister for Defence, Assistant Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Assistant Minister for the Republic
  • Dr Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury
  • Patrick Gorman, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister
  • Senator Jenny McAllister, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy
  • Senator Carol Brown, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
  • Ged Kearney, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care
  • Emma McBride, Assistant Minister for Mental Health, Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health
  • Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians, Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health
  • Senator Tim Ayres, Assistant Minister for Trade, Assistant Minister for Manufacturing
  • Senator Anthony Chisholm, Assistant Minister for Education, Assistant Minister for Regional Development
  • Tim Watts, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs
This story 'Exciting team': PM reveals major reshuffle of front bench, with record number of women first appeared on The Canberra Times.