The new Australian government includes 13 women ministers, the largest number in the country's history.
Australia’s new government has appointed a record number of 13 women ministers, including the first female Muslim to serve in the role and the second Indigenous person named Indigenous Affairs minister.
The swearing in ceremony conducted by Governor-General David Hurley in the capital, Canberra, on Wednesday came 11 days after new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese led the centre-left Labor Party to an election victory over the incumbent conservatives.
Youth Minister Anne Aly is Australia’s first female Muslim minister, while Industry Minister Ed Husic is another Muslim face in the government.
“Proud to lead an inclusive government that is as diverse as Australia itself,” Albanese wrote on Twitter. “Welcome to all these new Labor members.”
I am proud of my experienced, diverse and energised team. We are ready to deliver on a better future for all Australians, and we'll start with focusing on how we can help families deal with rising costs. pic.twitter.com/7vaI0JK2CS— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) June 1, 2022
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 they could fly to Tokyo for a summit with President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With some votes 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 House.
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.”
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 he wasn't surprised as he's been friends with Albanese for more than 20 years after they met at a theatre 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.”