Second term NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced his new cabinet, and it includes two historic appointments: The first women in NSW history will take the jobs of NSW Treasurer and NSW Attorney General.
The new cabinet also sees a new woman appointment to the role of Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Early Childhood Education and Assistant Minister for Education.
Former Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian will be the state’s new treasurer. She is the first female to assume the role.
Accomplished lawyer and former Family and Community Services Minister Gabrielle Upton will now take over the role of Attorney General. She, too, is the first woman to be appointed to the role.
The Premier described the appointments as “a cabinet for today and tomorrow” and as “the perfect mix of experience and new talent to take the state forward”.
He also referred specifically to the state firsts he has achieved for women.
“I am particularly proud that Gladys Berejiklian and Gabrielle Upton will become the first women in NSW history to hold the positions of Treasurer and Attorney General.”
Port Macquarie MP Lesley Williams will be joining the front bench for the first time as Minister for Early Education, Aboriginal Affairs and Assistant Minister for Education.
Minister for Women Pru Goward will shortly be announced as the new Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, a new portfolio promised as part of Mike Baird’s domestic violence prevention scheme in the lead up to Saturday’s election.
MP Shelley Hancock retains her prestigious position as speaker of the legislative assembly. Jillian Skinner will also retain her position as Minister for Health.
Baird also dropped two National MPs, Katrina Hogkinson and Kevin Humphries, from the cabinet.
The appointment of the first women in NSW history to two of the top front bench positions as well as the inclusion of new women make the cabinet announcement a particularly encouraging one.
It is also heartening to see the Premier upholding his promise to appoint a Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Baird made a series of commitments on the issue of domestic violence prior to the election, including implementing a state-wide domestic violence register. His cabinet signals that he recognises and respects the contribution of women.