Marise Payne (1981) Alumnae Award: Professional Achievement Marise Payne (1981) has been Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Morrison Government since 2018, and was also appointed Minister for Women in 2019. She became the first woman to hold the position of Minister of Defence in 2015. Marise commented in her 2020 Women’s Day address that: ‘It is our duty as a modern society to respect one another, and to foster a culture in which Australian men grow up respecting the women in their lives. Changing attitudes is fundamental to achieving a gender equal world. In so many ways, that must start with respect.’ Her interest in politics started young. She joined the Liberal Party the year after leaving School while studying an Arts and Law Degrees at the University of New South Wales. Marise became the first woman to serve as President of the Young Liberals from 1989 to 1991. She was appointed to the senate in 1997 as a Senator for New South Wales, representing the Liberal Party and was elected to a full-term in 2001. Since then she has had the distinction of having been re-elected four times. Marise Payne was first added to the shadow ministry in 2007. She was made Minister for Human Services when the Coalition returned to power in 2013 Away from politics, she is a passionate NRL and AFL fan, 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 is also a keen horse owner and racing enthusiast.