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Marise Payne is Australia’s 53rd Minister for Defence.

She was sworn in on 21 September 2015 after previously serving as the Minister for Human Services for two years.

She has almost two decades Parliamentary experience after filling a casual vacancy in 1997 to represent the people of New South Wales in the Australian Senate.

During her parliamentary career she has served as Shadow Minister for Indigenous Development and Employment, Shadow Minister for COAG [Council of Australian Governments] and Shadow Minister for Housing.

She has been a member of a number of Joint and Senate committees, including 12 years on the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, including a period as Chair of its Human Rights subcommittee.

Prior to entering Parliament Minister Payne worked as political adviser before working as a public affairs adviser in the finance industry.

A member of the Liberal Party since 1982, she 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.

She and her partner, NSW Minister Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres, live in western Sydney.