See why this list of Canada’s amazingly diverse cabinet is going viral… and how Australia compares 30



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Canada has really surprised us in the last few weeks, and has shown time and time again why they deserved to be noticed on the world stage. They now have a new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who won after the public demanded change.

Yesterday, Mr Trudeau announced his cabinet and the fact that he wanted 50 per cent to be women, simply “because it’s 2015”.

Now, a Canadian woman has taken to Facebook to list everyone in the new cabinet, and their amazing credentials to be in that position.

No sign of mismatched portfolios, over-inflated egos or even multiple portfolios for one person. In comparison, our cabinet looks like a lucky dip – Canada’s seemed carefully worked out to draw on the strengths and diversity of each and every person.

They have Muslim ministers, atheists, one with breast cancer, one in a wheelchair, they have a blind minister, a gay minister – so many people from so many backgrounds. It really makes you wonder how we could change.

Take a look at Canada’s list, and the list we’ve compiled, and tell us, who would you like to see in each portfolio in the Australian Government?


For once, Canadians are proud (and perhaps even a little bit smug). We ran the data:

We have a Minister of Environment and CLIMATE CHANGE.
We have a Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and REFUGEES.

Our Prime Minister is a sci-fi geek.
Our Minister of Health is an actual Doctor.
Our Minister of Families, Children and Social Development is a poverty economist.
Our Minister of Science is an actual Scientist (oh, and she has a Nobel Prize).
Our Minister of Status of Women is an actual woman!
Our Minister of Veterans Affairs is a quadriplegic because he was shot in a drive-by shooting.
Our Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour is a Professional Geologist.
Our Minister of Democratic Institutions is a Muslim refugee.
Our Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities is a Paralympian Athlete.
Our Minister of Defence is a badass war hero, Afghanistan combat vet, and police officer.

Half of our Ministers are women.
Half of our Ministers are men!
Two of our Ministers are people of First Nations (Kwakwaka’wakw, Inuit)
Three of our Ministers were born outside of Canada (India, Afghanistan)
Two of our Ministers are Sikh.
At least one of our Ministers is Muslim.
At least two of our Ministers are Atheist.
One of our Ministers is battling breast cancer. frown emoticon
One of our Ministers is in a wheelchair.
One of our Ministers is blind.
One of our Ministers is openly gay.
One of our Ministers is openly ginger.
Also, Hon. Navdeep Bains has a perfect twirly moustache.

via Alana Phillips Facebook


Minister for Foreign Affairs – Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop was formally a lawyer before moving into politics.

Minister for Employment
Minister for Women
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service – Michaelia Cash

Ms Cash has a Bachelor of Arts with a triple major in public relations, politics, and journalism. She also holds an Honours Degree in Law. She practised in all areas of employment and industrial law including industrial relations, employee relations, occupational health and safety, equal opportunity, executive employment and unfair dismissal.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources – Barnaby Joyce

Mr Joyce has a Bachelor of Financial Administration degree, served in the Army Reserve for 5 years, was a farm worker for a short period, and accountant before moving into politics.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs – Nigel Scullion

Before entering the Senate he was a professional fisherman and graduated from the Australian Rural Leadership Program. Nigel is not indigenous.

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science (Leader of the House) – Christopher Pyne

Mr Pyne has a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and began practising as a solicitor in 1991. He has been involved in Australian politics since he was 25 and has had a range of different portfolios.

Minister for Social Services – Christian Porter

Prior to entering Parliament, Porter worked as a lawyer for Clayton Utz. He spent a year as an advisor to the Federal Minister for Justice and then began working for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as a senior state prosecutor.

Minister for Communications
Minister for the Arts – Mitch Fifield

Mr Fifield holds a Bachelor of Arts, served for three years in the Australian Army Reserve Psychology Corps, and was once a Senior Research Officer to the NSW Minister for Transport.

Minister for Health
Minister for Aged Care
Minister for Sport – Sussan Ley

Ley was born in Nigeria to English parents and migrated to Australia when she was 13, has master’s degrees in taxation and accountancy and has been a waitress, cleaner, air traffic controller and commercial pilot, as well as a farmer and shearer’s cook.

Minister for Defence – Marise Payne

Ms Payne has a Bachelor of Arts and Laws, and was the Young Liberal Movement’s first female Federal President and was NSW State President during 1987 and 1988. She also served for 10 years on the NSW Liberal State Executive.

Minister for the Environment – Greg Hunt

Mr Hunt has a Bachelor of Laws (with First Class Honours), and studied at Yale University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar and received a Master of Arts in International Relations.

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection – Peter Dutton

Mr Dutton was a Queensland Police officer for nine years, and worked in the Drug Squad, before leaving in 1999 to complete a Bachelor of Business.

Minister for Rural Health – Fiona Nash

Ms Nash worked as a staff member for National Party federal ministers, and in 2008 was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources and Conservation on the Opposition frontbench, but was asked to resign by then-Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull when she showed support for a motion by the Greens to block the introduction of up-front tax breaks for carbon sinks.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Human Services – Stuart Robert

Mr Robert served for 12 years in the Australian Defence Force. He then founded the IT services firm GMT Recruitment, and is a founding director of Watoto Australia, which operates one of the world’s largest orphan programs.

It is interesting to note all of our ministers are white Australians, straight (and mostly married), and all fully abled.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Well done Canada. Australia’s problem is there is no diversity in candidates from the preselection stage. Reward is given for being a good party or union official. There isn’t a huge diversity in parliament to select cabinet and ministers from. I’m not sure of the figures but about 30% are women, there is one Asian woman and also the only openly gay I am aware of, I think there is a Muslim man, but the rest are predominately white males, a couple of indigenous people thrown in the mix. A few express atheist views many declare their Christian views. Start at the bottom before you can change at the top.

  2. The way things are going in Australian Politics I doubt we will ever be able to say we are PROUD of our politicians, well done to Canada for their diversity of candidates
    to choose from.

  3. It is a totally different ball game here, Australia has to many big ego’s with too many differences and we , Australian’s , are the meat in sandwhich

  4. I would like to get rid of the whole lot & install someone who has pensioners in their best interest Without us this generation would not be enjoying the fruits of our labour

    2 REPLY
  5. That’s probably what we need a poverty economist instead of a lot of rich men trying to make the poor even poorer. Maybe even a parent who has lived in poverty trying to educate kids, pay a mortgage and keep everyone feed and clothed. Congratulations Canada .

    2 REPLY
    • Yes but where does a poverty economist get money from? At best they might be able to mount a convincing argument to change the economy rather that borrow more money so we will all be in poverty?

    • If the money that is available was more fairly distributed that would be a start, couples earning $300,000 p.a get 50% of their child care reimbursed, that could be a good starting point.

  6. I used to sometimes think that Canada Australia and NZ had much in common in terms of values but Canada now you have left us way behind.May he force be with you!

  7. One thing Canada has, is its own identity, re the flag. We here in Australia still have the flag of the UK, another countries on ours. Some refer to the Union Jack as the butchers apron

  8. I would like to see some diversity too…..and people with real hands on experience.
    People who have been there and done that,
    People who could call a spade a spade
    People who remember what being a politician is all about….the people, doing the best for the poor and the wealthy
    I want to see the Wealthy, Big Business, Iron magnates, etc… tax in relation to their profits and stop screwing everyday people…..
    I want politicians to understand what it is like for people doing it tough….eg paying a mortgage and bills and raising kids, ….
    No one sitting in an Ivory Tower…..who has always been well off and had the benefits of private schools and university and well paid jobs ……can understand the reality of how tough life can be.
    I want to see a True Heart to raise our Patriotism levels and Honour for our flag and our way of life.
    I want to see Australian people….come first before refugees and boat people.
    I want to see people work for the dole…..regardless of their age, religion and sex
    I want Australia to be the best country in the world……and our politicians to be decent, law abiding citizens and set standards and be examples……
    And I would like a Defender of the Aged Pensioners….who had none of the hand outs that are freely given to people today…..because we understood we would be looked after in old age…..sick of hearing some younger folk saying we are the problem.
    God bless Australia.
    I guess many will think 2 things…..this post is too long and you don’t agree……

    1 REPLY
    • Well the choice of Minister for anything is not just about background. Would any one of our thousands of doctors be an ideal Minister for Health? Perhaps pick anyone of a million pensioners to be your choice of Defender of Aged? I suggest not. Part of the Australian challenge is that both the ALP and the LNP are beholden to factions and the best choice from those elected has to balance the faction war!

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