Australian Foreign Ministers Since 1901

A total of 38 people have been Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia, since 1901. The current incumbent, Julie Bishop, is the first woman to hold the post.

Three ministers served non-consecutive terms: Alfred Deakin twice, Lee Batchelor twice, and William Morris Hughes thrice.

Six prime ministers concurrently held the post during their prime ministership: Barton, Deakin (first two terms), Reid, Hughes, Bruce and Scullin. Menzies and Whitlam each held the post during part of their prime ministership.

The post was originally known as External Affairs. It became Foreign Affairs in 1970, and Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1987, before returing to Foreign Affairs in 1993. Between 1916 and 1921, the post did not exist and the portfolio functions were the responsibility of Prime Minister Hughes.

Australian Foreign Ministers Since 1901
No. Name Party Seat Began Ended
Ministers for External Affairs
01.
Sir Edmund Barton Prot Hunter, NSW 01 January 1901 24 September 1903
02.
Alfred Deakin Prot Ballaarat, Vic 24 September 1903 27 April 1904
03.
William Morris Hughes Lab West Sydney, NSW 27 April 1904 17 August 1904
04.
George Reid FT East Sydney, NSW 17 August 1904 05 July 1905
Alfred Deakin Prot Ballaarat, Vic 05 July 1905 13 November 1908
05.
Lee Batchelor ALP Boothby, SA 13 November 1908 02 June 1909
06.
Littleton Groom Lib Darling Downs, Qld 02 June 1909 29 April 1910
Lee Batchelor ALP Boothby, SA 29 April 1910 08 October 1911
07.
Josiah Thomas ALP Barrier, NSW 14 October 1911 24 June 1913
08.
Patrick Glynn Lib Angas, SA 24 June 1913 17 September 1914
09.
John Andrew ALP Bendigo, Vic 17 September 1914 9 December 1914
10.
Hugh Mahon ALP Kalgoorlie, WA 09 December 1914 14 November 1916
Portfolio functions to Prime Minister 1916-21
William Morris Hughes Nat Bendigo, Vic 21 December 1921 9 February 1923
11.
Stanley Bruce Nat Flinders, Vic 09 February 1923 22 October 1929
12.
James Scullin ALP Yarra, Vic 22 October 1929 06 January 1932
13.
John Latham UAP Kooyong, Vic 06 January 1932 12 October 1934
14.
Senator George Pearce UAP WA 12 October 1934 29 November 1937
William Morris Hughes UAP North Sydney, NSW 29 November 1937 26 April 1939
15.
Sir Henry Gullett UAP Henty, Vic 26 April 1939 14 March 1940
16.
John McEwen CP Indi, Vic 14 March 1940 28 October 1940
17.
Sir Frederick Stewart UAP Parramatta, NSW 28 October 1940 07 October 1941
18.
Dr Herbert V. Evatt ALP Barton, NSW 07 October 1941 19 December 1949
19.
Percy Spender Lib Warringah, NSW 19 December 1949 26 April 1951
20.
Richard Casey Lib La Trobe, Vic 26 April 1951 04 February 1960
21.
Robert Menzies Lib Kooyong, Vic 04 February 1960 22 December 1961
22.
Sir Garfield Barwick Lib Parramatta, NSW 22 December 1961 24 April 1964
23.
Paul Hasluck Lib Curtin, WA 24 April 1964 11 February 1969
24.
Gordon Freeth Lib Forrest, WA 11 February 1969 12 November 1969
25.
William McMahon Lib Lowe, NSW 12 November 1969 06 November 1970
Ministers for Foreign Affairs
William McMahon Lib Lowe, NSW 06 November 1970 22 March 1971
26.
Leslie Bury Lib Wentworth, NSW 22 March 1971 02 August 1971
27.
Nigel Bowen Lib Parramatta, NSW 02 August 1971 05 December 1972
28.
Gough Whitlam ALP Werriwa, NSW 05 December 1972 06 November 1973
29.
Senator Donald Willesee ALP WA 06 November 1973 11 November 1975
30.
Andrew Peacock Lib Kooyong, Vic 12 November 1975 3 November 1980
31.
Tony Street Lib Corangamite, Vic 03 November 1980 11 March 1983
32.
Bill Hayden ALP Oxley, Qld 11 March 1983 24 July 1987
Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Trade
Bill Hayden ALP Oxley, Qld 24 July 1987 02 September 1988
33.
Senator Gareth Evans ALP Vic 02 September 1988 24 March 1993
Ministers for Foreign Affairs
Senator Gareth Evans ALP Vic 24 March 1993 11 March 1996
34.
Alexander Downer Lib Mayo, SA 11 March 1996 03 December 2007
35.
Stephen Smith ALP Perth, WA 03 December 2007 14 September 2010
36.
Kevin Rudd ALP Griffith, Qld 14 September 2010 5 March 2012
37.
Senator Bob Carr ALP NSW 13 March 2012 18 September 2013
38.
Julie Bishop Lib Curtin, WA 18 September 2013

 

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