Marise Payne

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Senator The Honourable
Marise Payne
Marise Payne in 2015
Payne in 2015
Minister for Defence
Assumed office
21 September 2015
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Kevin Andrews
Minister for Human Services
In office
18 September 2013 – 21 September 2015
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Malcolm Turnbull
Preceded by Jan McLucas
Succeeded by Stuart Robert
Senator for New South Wales
Assumed office
9 April 1997
Preceded by Bob Woods
Personal details
Born Marise Ann Payne
(1964-07-29) 29 July 1964 (age 53)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political party Liberal
Domestic partner Stuart Ayres
Education MLC School
Alma mater University of New South Wales

Marise Ann Payne (born 29 July 1964) is an Australian politician who is currently Minister for Defence in the Turnbull Government, in office since 2015. She has been a Senator for New South Wales since 1997, representing the Liberal Party.

Payne was born in Sydney, and attended the University of New South Wales. She was the first woman to serve as federal president of the Young Liberals (1989–1991). Payne was appointed to the Senate in 1997, in place of Bob Woods. She was elected to a full term in 2001, and has since been re-elected three more times. Payne was first added to the shadow ministry in 2007, and when the Coalition returned to power in 2013 she was made Minister for Human Services in the Abbott Government. She was appointed Minister for Defence when Malcolm Turnbull became prime minister, becoming the first woman to hold the position.

Personal life[edit]

Payne was born in Sydney. She attended MLC School, Burwood and then attended the University of New South Wales, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Laws. A member of the Liberal Party since 1982, Payne was the Young Liberal Movement's first female Federal President (from 1989 to 1991) and was NSW State President during 1987 and 1988. She also served for 10 years on the NSW Liberal State Executive.[1] Payne is the partner of New South Wales state Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres.[2]

Political career[edit]

On 7 March 1997, Senator Bob Woods resigned from the Senate, having earlier cited the need to spend more time with his family.[3] Payne was endorsed by the Liberal Party for the casual vacancy, and assumed office on 9 April 1997.

Payne has been a member of a range of legislative and policy committees in the Australian Parliament, including the Senate Privileges Committee and the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In September 2010 Payne was appointed Shadow Minister for Indigenous Development and Employment, Shadow Minister for COAG and Shadow Minister for Housing by Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott.[4] She previously held the positions of Shadow Minister for COAG and Modernising the Federation,[5] Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs.

Payne was Minister for Human Services in the Abbott Government from 18 September 2013 until 20 September 2015.

Turnbull Government[edit]

After Malcolm Turnbull defeated Tony Abbott in a leadership spill, Payne was elevated to the cabinet and appointed Minister for Defence in the Turnbull Government from 21 September 2015. She is the first female to hold this position.[6]

Payne oversaw the final months of the long anticipated defence white paper, which was released in February 2016.[citation needed]

In April 2016, Payne and Prime Minister Turnbull announced that French firm DCNS had been awarded a $50 billion contract to build a new fleet of submarines for the Australian defence force. The submarine project will be undertaken in Adelaide, rather than in France, generating 2,800 jobs.[7]


  1. ^ "Senator the Hon Marise Payne". Retrieved 25 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "Marise Payne is Australia's first female Defence Minister but is she up to the job?". 21 September 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Grubel, James (5 July 2002). "Analysis: Politics and private lives". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-20. 
  5. ^ A Reshaped Coalition Team for Australia's Future, Tony Abbott MP, Leader of the Opposition, 8 December 2009
  6. ^ Chan, Gabrielle. "Malcolm Turnbull names new ministry, promoting women and supporters". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Australian submarines: France wins 50 billion contract". Retrieved 25 November 2017. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Bob Woods
Senator for New South Wales
Political offices
Preceded by
Jan McLucas
Minister for Human Services
Succeeded by
Stuart Robert
Preceded by
Kevin Andrews
Minister for Defence