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Marise Payne

Marise Payne October 2015.jpg
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
26 August 2018
Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Preceded by Julie Bishop
Minister for Defence
In office
21 September 2015 – 26 August 2018
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Scott Morrison
Preceded by Kevin Andrews
Succeeded by Christopher Pyne
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
Marise Ann Payne

(1964-07-29) 29 July 1964 (age 57)
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 has been a Senator for New South Wales since 1997, representing the Liberal Party. She has been the Minister for Defence since 2015, and will shortly succeed Julie Bishop as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Morrison Government.

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. Payne was appointed Minister for Defence when Malcolm Turnbull became prime minister, becoming the first woman to hold the position. After Turnbull was replaced by Scott Morrison in August 2018, it was announced that she would become Minister for Foreign Affairs in the new government, a position vacated by Julie Bishop.

Early life

Payne was born in Sydney, the daughter of Ann Noreen (nee Johns) and William Elliott Payne. Her father was a World War II veteran who worked as an accountant and farmer. Payne grew up in Bardwell Park, in Sydney's southern suburbs. attended MLC School before going on to the University of New South Wales, where she graduated with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees. In her second year at university, she was involved in a road accident near Michelago. The car she was travelling in as a passenger rolled over, and she received serious injuries to her neck, fracturing her odontoid process.

Payne joined the Liberal Party in 1982, and was state president of the New South Wales Young Liberals from 1987 to 1988. She then served as federal president of the Young Liberals from 1989 to 1991, and as a member of the state executive of the New South Wales Liberals from 1991 to 1997. In 1991, Payne was an unsuccessful candidate to fill the casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Peter Baume. At the time she was serving as private secretary to Senator Robert Hill.

In 1994, Payne was appointed vice-chair of the Australian Republican Movement, serving under chairman Malcolm Turnbull. At the time, she was working as an adviser to Premier John Fahey and serving on the Liberal Party's state executive. Tony Abbott, who was then the national executive director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, criticised her for accepting the position, stating "anyone who does not support constitutional monarchy is at odds with the party". John Howard accused her of a "conflict of interest", stating she had joined "an organisation dominated by Labor sympathisers".

Political career

On 7 March 1997, Senator Bob Woods resigned from the Senate, having earlier cited the need to spend more time with his family. 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. She previously held the positions of Shadow Minister for COAG and Modernising the Federation, 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

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.

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

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.

Morrison Government

Malcolm Turnbull was replaced by Scott Morrison as Liberal leader and prime minister on 24 August 2018. Foreign minister Julie Bishop, an unsuccessful candidate for the Liberal leadership, announced her resignation from cabinet on 26 August. Morrison subsequently announced that Payne would succeed Bishop as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the new government. She is yet to be sworn in.

Personal life

Payne is in a long-term relationship with Stuart Ayres, who is a minister in the New South Wales state government. She is 16 years his senior. The couple met while campaigning together at the 2007 federal election. As of 2010, they were building a home together in Mulgoa.

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