Detailed Pedia

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Australia)

Minister for Foreign Affairs
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
Flag of Australia (converted).svg
Penny Wong DFAT official (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Penny Wong

since 23 May 2022
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
StyleThe Honourable (formal)
Member ofCabinet of Australia
Reports toPrime Minister
SeatCanberra, ACT
NominatorPrime Minister
AppointerGovernor-General
on the advice of the prime minister
Term lengthAt the Governor-General's pleasure
Constituting instrumentSection 64, Constitution of Australia
Formation1 January 1901
First holderSir Edmund Barton
Websiteforeignminister.gov.au

The Minister for Foreign Affairs (commonly shortened to Foreign Minister) is the minister in the Government of Australia who is responsible for overseeing the international diplomacy section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Senator Penny Wong was appointed as Foreign Minister in the ministry led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in May 2022 following the 2022 Australian federal election. As the first female foreign minister from the Australian Labor Party, Wong also became the third female foreign minister in a row, following Julie Bishop and Marise Payne. The Foreign Minister is one of two cabinet-level portfolio ministers under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the other being the Minister for Trade and Tourism Senator Don Farrell.

Several subordinate positions include the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, currently held by Pat Conroy, and the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, currently held by Tim Watts.

Scope

R. G. Casey House, the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The minister is usually one of the most senior members of Cabinet – the position is equivalent to that of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in Britain or Secretary of State in the United States – as shown by the fact that eleven Prime Ministers of Australia have also worked as the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The minister is seen as one of the people most responsible for formulating Australia's foreign policy, as they along with other relevant ministers advise the Prime Minister in developing and implementing foreign policy, and also acts as the government's main spokesperson on international affairs issues. In recent times, the minister also undertakes numerous international trips to meet with foreign representatives and Heads of State or Government.

List of ministers for foreign affairs

The portfolio has existed continuously since 1901, except for the period 14 November 1916 to 21 December 1921. Prior to 6 November 1970, the office was known as the Minister for External Affairs. Between 24 July 1987 and 24 March 1993 it was known as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Starting with the Keating Government, the Trade portfolio has been administered separately by the Minister for Trade.

The following individuals have been appointed as Minister for Foreign Affairs, or any of its precedent titles:

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Title Term start Term end Term in office
1 Edmund Barton1 2   Protectionist Barton Minister for External Affairs 1 January 1901 (1901-01-01) 24 September 1903 (1903-09-24) 2 years, 266 days
2 Alfred Deakin1 Deakin 24 September 1903 (1903-09-24) 27 April 1904 (1904-04-27) 216 days
3 Billy Hughes Labor Watson 27 April 1904 (1904-04-27) 17 August 1904 (1904-08-17) 112 days
4 George Reid1 Free Trade Reid 18 August 1904 (1904-08-18) 5 July 1905 (1905-07-05) 321 days
n/a Alfred Deakin1 Protectionist Deakin 5 July 1905 (1905-07-05) 13 November 1908 (1908-11-13) 3 years, 131 days
5 Lee Batchelor Labor Fisher 13 November 1908 (1908-11-13) 2 June 1909 (1909-06-02) 201 days
6 Littleton Groom Liberal Deakin 2 June 1909 (1909-06-02) 29 April 1910 (1910-04-29) 331 days
n/a Lee Batchelor Labor Fisher 29 April 1910 (1910-04-29) 8 October 1911 (1911-10-08) 1 year, 162 days
7 Josiah Thomas 14 October 1911 (1911-10-14) 24 June 1913 (1913-06-24) 1 year, 253 days
8 Paddy Glynn Liberal Cook 24 June 1913 (1913-06-24) 17 September 1914 (1914-09-17) 1 year, 85 days
9 John Arthur Labor Fisher 17 September 1914 (1914-09-17) 9 December 1914 (1914-12-09) 83 days
10 Hugh Mahon 9 December 1914 (1914-12-09) 27 October 1915 (1915-10-27) 322 days
Hughes 27 October 1915 (1915-10-27) 14 November 1916 (1916-11-14) 1 year, 18 days
n/a Billy Hughes1 Nationalist Hughes Minister for External Affairs 21 December 1921 (1921-12-21) 9 February 1923 (1923-02-09) 1 year, 50 days
11 Stanley Bruce1 Bruce 9 February 1923 (1923-02-09) 22 October 1929 (1929-10-22) 6 years, 255 days
12 James Scullin1 Labor Scullin 22 October 1929 (1929-10-22) 6 January 1932 (1932-01-06) 2 years, 76 days
13 John Latham United Australia Lyons 6 January 1932 (1932-01-06) 12 October 1934 (1934-10-12) 2 years, 279 days
14 Sir George Pearce 12 October 1934 (1934-10-12) 29 November 1937 (1937-11-29) 3 years, 48 days
n/a Billy Hughes 29 November 1937 (1937-11-29) 7 April 1939 (1939-04-07) 1 year, 129 days
Page 7 April 1939 (1939-04-07) 26 April 1939 (1939-04-26) 19 days
15 Sir Henry Somer Gullett Menzies 26 April 1939 (1939-04-26) 14 March 1940 (1940-03-14) 323 days
16 John McEwen Country 14 March 1940 (1940-03-14) 28 October 1940 (1940-10-28) 228 days
17 Frederick Stewart United Australia 28 October 1940 (1940-10-28) 29 August 1941 (1941-08-29) 305 days
Fadden 29 August 1941 (1941-08-29) 7 October 1941 (1941-10-07) 39 days
18 Dr. H. V. Evatt Labor Curtin 7 October 1941 (1941-10-07) 6 July 1945 (1945-07-06) 8 years, 73 days
Forde 6 July 1945 (1945-07-06) 13 July 1945 (1945-07-13)
Chifley 13 July 1945 (1945-07-13) 19 December 1949 (1949-12-19)
19 Percy Spender Liberal Menzies 19 December 1949 (1949-12-19) 26 April 1951 (1951-04-26) 1 year, 128 days
20 Richard Casey 27 April 1951 (1951-04-27) 4 February 1960 (1960-02-04) 8 years, 283 days
21 Robert Menzies1 4 February 1960 (1960-02-04) 22 December 1961 (1961-12-22) 1 year, 321 days
22 Sir Garfield Barwick 22 December 1961 (1961-12-22) 24 April 1964 (1964-04-24) 2 years, 124 days
23 Paul Hasluck 24 April 1964 (1964-04-24) 26 January 1966 (1966-01-26) 4 years, 293 days
Holt 26 January 1966 (1966-01-26) 19 December 1967 (1967-12-19)
McEwen 19 December 1967 (1967-12-19) 10 January 1968 (1968-01-10)
Gorton 10 January 1968 (1968-01-10) 11 February 1969 (1969-02-11)
24 Gordon Freeth 11 February 1969 (1969-02-11) 12 November 1969 (1969-11-12) 274 days
25 William McMahon 12 November 1969 (1969-11-12) 6 November 1970 (1970-11-06) 1 year, 130 days
Minister for Foreign Affairs 6 November 1970 (1970-11-06) 10 March 1971 (1971-03-10)
McMahon 10 March 1971 (1971-03-10) 22 March 1971 (1971-03-22)
26 Leslie Bury 22 March 1971 (1971-03-22) 2 August 1971 (1971-08-02) 133 days
27 Nigel Bowen 2 August 1971 (1971-08-02) 5 December 1972 (1972-12-05) 1 year, 125 days
28 Gough Whitlam1 Labor Whitlam 5 December 1972 (1972-12-05) 6 November 1973 (1973-11-06) 336 days
29 Don Willesee 6 November 1973 (1973-11-06) 11 November 1975 (1975-11-11) 2 years, 5 days
30 Andrew Peacock Liberal Fraser 12 November 1975 (1975-11-12) 3 November 1980 (1980-11-03) 4 years, 358 days
31 Tony Street 3 November 1980 (1980-11-03) 11 March 1983 (1983-03-11) 2 years, 128 days
32 Bill Hayden Labor Hawke 11 March 1983 (1983-03-11) 24 July 1987 (1987-07-24) 5 years, 159 days
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade 24 July 1987 (1987-07-24) 17 August 1988 (1988-08-17)
33 Gareth Evans 2 September 1988 (1988-09-02) 20 December 1991 (1991-12-20) 7 years, 191 days
Keating 20 December 1991 (1991-12-20) 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24)
Minister for Foreign Affairs 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24) 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11)
34 Alexander Downer Liberal Howard 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 11 years, 267 days
35 Stephen Smith Labor Rudd 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 2 years, 285 days
Gillard 24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 14 September 2010 (2010-09-14)
36 Kevin Rudd 14 September 2010 (2010-09-14) 22 February 2012 (2012-02-22) 1 year, 161 days
37 Bob Carr 13 March 2012 (2012-03-13) 27 June 2013 (2013-06-27) 1 year, 189 days
Rudd 27 June 2013 (2013-06-27) 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18)
38 Julie Bishop Liberal Abbott 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) 15 September 2015 (2015-09-15) 4 years, 344 days
Turnbull 15 September 2015 (2015-09-15) 24 August 2018 (2018-08-24)
Morrison 24 August 2018 (2018-08-24) 28 August 2018 (2018-08-28)
39 Marise Payne 28 August 2018 (2018-08-28) 23 May 2022 (2022-05-23) 3 years, 268 days
40 Penny Wong Labor Albanese 23 May 2022 (2022-05-23) Incumbent 20 days

Notes

1 Also served as Prime Minister for some or all of their term.
2 Barton was knighted in 1902, while serving as Minister.

List of Ministers for International Development and the Pacific

The Minister for International Development was responsible, in the Rudd Cabinet, for the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the international development and humanitarian aid policies of the Commonwealth of Australia, administered through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). AusAID was abolished by the incoming prime minister, Tony Abbott, in September 2013 and under the operations of the Abbott Cabinet its functions were absorbed into DFAT.

The following individuals have been appointed as Minister for International Development and the Pacific, or any precedent title:

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Ministerial title Term start Term end Term in office
1 Bill Morrison   Labor Whitlam Minister assisting the Minister for Foreign Affairs in matters relating to Papua New Guinea 30 November 1973 6 June 1975 1 year, 346 days
Minister assisting the Minister for Foreign Affairs in matters relating to the Islands of the Pacific 6 June 1975 11 November 1975
2 Neal Blewett   Labor Hawke Minister for Trade and Overseas Development 1 February 1991 (1991-02-01) 20 December 1991 (1991-12-20) 329 days
Keating 20 December 1991 (1991-12-20) 27 December 1991 (1991-12-27)
3 John Kerin 27 December 1991 (1991-12-27) 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24) 1 year, 87 days
4 Gordon Bilney Minister for Development Cooperation and Pacific Island Affairs 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24) 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 2 years, 353 days
5 Melissa Parke   Labor Rudd Minister for International Development 1 July 2013 (2013-07-01) 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) 79 days
6 Steven Ciobo   Liberal Turnbull Minister for International Development and the Pacific 21 September 2015 (2015-09-21) 18 February 2016 (2016-02-18) 150 days
7 Concetta Fierravanti-Wells 18 February 2016 (2016-02-18) 21 August 2018 (2018-08-21) 2 years, 184 days
8 Alex Hawke   Liberal Morrison Minister for International Development and the Pacific 29 May 2019 (2019-05-29) 22 December 2020 (2020-12-22) 1 year, 207 days
9 Zed Seselja 22 December 2020 (2020-12-22) 23 May 2022 (2022-05-23) 1 year, 152 days
10 Pat Conroy   Labor Albanese 1 June 2022 Incumbent 11 days

List of ministers assisting the minister for foreign affairs

The following individuals have been appointed as Minister assisting the Minister for Foreign Affairs or any of its precedent titles:

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Ministerial title Term start Term end Term in office
1 John Gorton   Liberal Menzies Minister Assisting the Minister for External Affairs 23 March 1960 (1960-03-23) 18 December 1963 (1963-12-18) 3 years, 270 days
2 Don Willesee   Labor Whitlam Minister assisting the Minister for Foreign Affairs 19 December 1972 6 November 1973 322 days
3 Bill Morrison Minister assisting the Minister for Foreign Affairs in matters relating to Papua New Guinea 30 November 1973 6 June 1975 1 year, 346 days
Minister assisting the Minister for Foreign Affairs in matters relating to the Islands of the Pacific 6 June 1975 11 November 1975
4 Gareth Evans   Labor Hawke Minister assisting the Minister for Foreign Affairs 13 December 1984 24 July 1987 2 years, 223 days

List of parliamentary secretaries and assistant ministers for foreign affairs

The following individuals have been appointed as parliamentary secretaries and assistant ministers for Foreign Affairs or any of its precedent titles:

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Ministerial title Term start Term end Term in office
1 Stephen Martin   Labor Keating Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade 27 December 1991 (1991-12-27) 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24) 1 year, 87 days
2 Andrew Thomson   Liberal Howard Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 9 October 1997 (1997-10-09) 1 year, 212 days
3 Kathy Sullivan 9 October 1997 (1997-10-09) 16 February 2000 (2000-02-16) 2 years, 130 days
4 Kay Patterson 16 February 2000 (2000-02-16) 26 November 2001 (2001-11-26) 1 year, 283 days
5 Chris Gallus 26 November 2001 (2001-11-26) 18 July 2004 (2004-07-18) 2 years, 235 days
6 Bruce Billson 18 July 2004 (2004-07-18) 26 October 2004 (2004-10-26) 1 year, 193 days
Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade 26 October 2004 (2004-10-26) 6 July 2005 (2005-07-06)
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs 6 July 2005 (2005-07-06) 27 January 2006 (2006-01-27)
7 Teresa Gambaro 27 January 2006 (2006-01-27) 30 January 2007 (2007-01-30) 1 year, 3 days
8 Greg Hunt 30 January 2007 (2007-01-30) 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 307 days
9 Richard Marles   Labor Gillard Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs 5 March 2012 (2012-03-05) 22 March 2013 (2013-03-22) 362 days
10 Brett Mason   Liberal Abbott Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) 23 December 2014 (2014-12-23) 1 year, 96 days
11 Steven Ciobo 23 December 2014 (2014-12-23) 21 September 2015 (2015-09-21) 272 days
12 Tim Watts   Labor Albanese Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs 1 June 2022 Incumbent 11 days

Former ministerial titles

List of ministers for tourism

Since 1966, Australia had ministers responsible for tourism under various titles. The following individuals have been appointed as Minister for Tourism, or any of its precedent titles:

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Ministerial title Term start Term end Term in office
1 Don Chipp   Liberal Holt Minister in charge of Tourist Activities 14 December 1966 (1966-12-14) 19 December 1967 (1967-12-19) 1 year, 76 days
McEwen 19 December 1967 (1967-12-19) 10 January 1968 (1968-01-10)
Gorton 10 January 1968 (1968-01-10) 28 February 1968 (1968-02-28)
2 Reg Wright 28 February 1968 (1968-02-28) 10 March 1971 (1971-03-10) 3 years, 92 days
McMahon 10 March 1971 (1971-03-10) 31 May 1971 (1971-05-31)
3 Peter Howson 31 May 1971 (1971-05-31) 5 December 1972 (1972-12-05) 1 year, 188 days
4 Frank Stewart   Labor Whitlam Minister for Tourism and Recreation 19 December 1972 (1972-12-19) 11 November 1975 (1975-11-11) 2 years, 327 days
5 Reg Withers   Liberal Fraser 11 November 1975 (1975-11-11) 22 December 1975 (1975-12-22) 41 days
6 John Brown   Labor Hawke Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism 11 March 1983 (1983-03-11) 24 July 1987 (1987-07-24) 4 years, 282 days
Minister for Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories 24 July 1987 (1987-07-24) 18 December 1987 (1987-12-18)
7 Graham Richardson   Labor Hawke Minister for Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories 19 January 1988 (1988-01-19) 4 April 1990 (1990-04-04) 2 years, 75 days
8 Ros Kelly 4 April 1990 (1990-04-04) 20 December 1991 (1991-12-20) 1 year, 267 days
Keating 20 December 1991 (1991-12-20) 27 December 1991 (1991-12-27)
9 Alan Griffiths Minister for Tourism 27 December 1991 (1991-12-27) 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24) 1 year, 87 days
10 Michael Lee 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24) 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 2 years, 353 days
11 John Moore   Liberal Howard Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 9 October 1997 (1997-10-09) 1 year, 212 days
12 Andrew Thomson Minister for Sport and Tourism 9 October 1997 (1997-10-09) 21 October 1998 (1998-10-21) 1 year, 12 days
13 Jackie Kelly 21 October 1998 (1998-10-21) 26 November 2001 (2001-11-26) 3 years, 36 days
14 Joe Hockey Minister for Small Business and Tourism 26 November 2001 (2001-11-26) 26 October 2004 (2004-10-26) 2 years, 335 days
15 Fran Bailey 26 October 2004 (2004-10-26) 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 3 years, 38 days
16 Martin Ferguson   Labor Rudd Minister for Tourism 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 5 years, 112 days
Gillard 24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 25 March 2013 (2013-03-25)
17 Gary Gray 25 March 2013 (2013-03-25) 27 June 2013 (2013-06-27) 177 days
Rudd 27 June 2013 (2013-06-27) 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18)
18 Richard Colbeck   Liberal Turnbull Minister for Tourism and International Education 21 September 2015 (2015-09-21) 19 July 2016 (2016-07-19) 302 days
For subsequent appointments, see the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

See also

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