New Defence Minister

Marise Payne


After growing up in Sydney and the NSW Southern Highlands, Marise Payne went on to complete her education at MLC School, Burwood and her Bachelor of Arts and Laws at the University of NSW.

A member of the Liberal Party since 1982, Marise was the National Young Liberal Movement’s first female President. She also served on the NSW Liberal State Executive for 10 years and at branch and electorate levels.

Having served as a political adviser to some of the most significant figures in Liberal politics of their time, Marise went on to a career as a public affairs adviser in the finance industry.

In 1997 Marise filled a casual vacancy to represent the people of New South Wales in the Australian Senate, making her inaugural speech on 2 September 1997. She was then elected in 2001, 2007 and 2013.

Marise has served as Shadow Minister for Indigenous Development and Employment, Shadow Minister for COAG [Council of Australian Governments] and Shadow Minister for Housing. She plays an active role in the Senate and has been a member of both Joint and Senate committees, including as Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and as Chair of its Human Rights subcommittee.

In 2013 Marise was appointed as Minister for Human Services in the Abbott Government.

From its inception in 2003, Marise was co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Dementia (PFOD) group until February 2011 and is currently co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Rugby League group.

Based in western Sydney for over ten years, Marise has come to know the local community well and now works alongside local organisations and businesses to help the region develop its great potential.

Outside parliament, Marise continues to work in the community on issues as diverse as human rights, emerging technologies and the implications of our ageing population.

Away from politics, she is a committed fan of the St George/Illawarra NRL team and the Geelong Cats, an enthusiastic supporter of the arts in Australia, spends as much time as she can in the Southern Highlands and she cooks for therapy. Marise and her partner live in a newly built home in Mulgoa.

CV and Parliamentary Achievements

Senator Marise Payne
Senator for New South Wales
Liberal Party of Australia

Parliamentary service

Chosen by the Parliament of New South Wales on 9.4.1997 under section 15 of the Constitution to represent that State in the Senate, vice the Hon. RL Woods (resigned) (term ended 30.6.2002). Elected 2001 (term began 1.7.2002), 2007 and 2013.

Committee service

Senate Standing: Privileges from 30.9.97; Regulations and Ordinances from 7.5.97 to 8.6.00.

Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Legal and Constitutional: Legislation Committee from 24.11.98 (Chair from 25.11.98) to 11.9.06 and References Committee from 24.11.98 (Deputy Chair from 25.11.98) to 6.9.05; Legal and Constitutional Affairs from 11.9.06 to 11.2.08; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Legislation Committee from 3.9.97 to 11.9.06; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 11.9.06 to 11.2.08; Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts: Legislation Committee from 24.11.98 to 5.4.00 and References Committee from 26.11.98 to 30.6.99; Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts: References Committee from 1.9.97 to 9.11.98; Economics: References Committee from 7.5.97 to 4.9.97; Community Affairs: References Committee from 4.9.97 to 3.12.98.

Joint Select: Republic Referendum from 21.6.99 to 9.8.99.

Joint Standing: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 30.6.99 to 17.10.07 and from 19.3.08.

Senate Select: Housing Affordability in Australia from 14.2.08 to 16.6.08.


Conferences, delegations and visits


Attended Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development and Rockefeller Foundation’s Australia and New Zealand Parliamentary study visit, Vietnam 1997.

Study tour, Israel, January 1999; UK, April 2001; Nepal, September 2001.

Member, Official Delegation to observe the referendum in East Timor, August-September 1999.

Member, Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade visit to East Timor, December 1999.

Attended IDU Young Leaders Forum, USA, January 2000.

Attended ‘Towards a Community of Democracies’ Conference, Warsaw, Poland, June 2000.

Attended Asian Forum on Parliamentarians on Population and Development workshop ‘Elimination of Violence Against Women’, Thailand, June 2001.

Attended Australian Political Exchange Council exchange to New Zealand, July 2001.

Member, Australian Official Observer Delegation for East Timor Constituent Assembly elections, August-September 2001.

Leader, Official Delegation to observe Presidential Elections in East Timor, April 2002.

Participant, Australia-Indonesia Young Leaders Dialogue, May 2002.

Attended Democratisation Conference, Cambodia, July 2002.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Japan, November 2002.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to New Zealand, April 2003.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to the Solomon Islands, December 2003.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Mozambique and Kenya, July 2004.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to New Zealand, May 2005.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to the Solomon Islands, April 2006.

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to Colombia and Argentina, August 2008.


Parliamentary party positions

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 6.12.07 to 21.9.08.

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs from 22.9.08 to 8.12.09

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance from 22.9.08 to 8.12.09

Shadow Minister for COAG and Modernisation of the Federation from 8.12.09 to 14.09.10

Shadow Minister for Indigenous Development and Employment from 14.09.10 to 18.9.13

Shadow Minister for COAG from 14.09.10 to 18.9.13

Shadow Minister for Housing from 14.09.10 to 18.9.13

Minister for Human Services from 18.09.13

Party positions

President, Young Liberal Movement of Australia (NSW Division) 1987-88; Federal President 1989-91.

Member, Liberal Party Constitution Standing Committee (NSW) 1989-96 (Chair 1990).

Member, Liberal Party of Australia State Executive (NSW) 1991-97.

Chair, Liberal Party Convention Committee (NSW) 1995.


Born 29.7.1964, Sydney, NSW.

Qualifications and occupation before entering federal Parliament

BA, LLB (UNSW).                                                                                                                                                                                                              Political adviser 1987-95.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Public affairs adviser 1995-97