Sydney:  Australia’s new federal ministry was sworn into office on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appointing a record number of women to a diverse cabinet team that includes religious minorities and Indigenous Aboriginals.
 A total of 10 women were included in Albanese’s 23-member cabinet, surpassing the seven in the previous Liberal-National coalition government led by Scott Morrison.
 Industry Minister Ed Husic and Youth Minister Anne Aly became Australia’s first Muslim federal ministers at a ceremony in the national capital, Canberra, while Linda Burney, wearing a kangaroo-skin cloak, became the first Aboriginal woman to hold the Indigenous Australians ministry.
 Albanese formed an interim ministry, that included 4 other key members, two days after the May 21 election so he could attend a Quad group meeting in Tokyo, attended by US President Joe Biden and the leaders of Japan and India. Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles – who was part of the interim ministry along with Penny Wong in foreign affairs, Jim Chalmers as treasurer and Katy Gallagher in finance – has been assigned the defence portfolio.
Don Farrell is the new trade minister and Tanya Plibersek the environment minister, while Clare O’Neil will be in charge of home affairs and Chris Bowen takes energy.