Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Marise Payne


Minister for Defence

September 2015 – August 2018

Media contacts

  • Henry Budd (Minister Payne’s office) 0429 531 143
  • Defence Media (02) 6127 1999


Minister for Defence

September 2015 – August 2018

Minister profile

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 more than 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 for Western Sydney, WestConnex, and Sport, Stuart Ayres, live in western Sydney.


  • Strategic policy
  • ADF Operations
  • International Engagement
  • Budget
  • Defence White Paper implementation
  • Force Structure
  • Development of capability requirements
  • Capability/cost tradeoff during capability life cycle
  • Intelligence and Security
  • ICT
  • Science and Technology policy and support to operations