“Stand near your relevant husband,” Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove quipped as he finalised the formalities for Scott Morrison and Michael McCormack to be sworn in as prime minister and deputy PM.
Mr Morrison and Mr McCormack – accompanied by their families – kicked off formal proceedings at Government House in Canberra on Wednesday, 11 days after the coalition secured office for another term.
“How about a handshake across?” Mr McCormack asked the PM as the three men posed for yet another photo.
The new Morrison frontbench largely keeps key positions in place but also promotes some first-timers to new roles.
The cabinet will include seven women, with Foreign Minister Marise Payne bolstering the number of women in the portfolio.
Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie will be Australia’s first female agriculture minister.
The frontbench also includes Australia’s first Aboriginal federal cabinet minister, West Australian MP Ken Wyatt, who will be in charge of indigenous affairs.
Mr Wyatt wore a traditional kangaroo skin, called a “booka” given to him by the Noongar people of south-west WA, to the swearing-in ceremony.
All of the frontbenchers received an Australian flag stickpin, which Mr Morrison has made a feature of his daily dress-code since taking up the Liberal leadership in August last year.
In the first post-election meeting with coalition MPs on Tuesday, Mr Morrison insisted his “hungry, committed and united” team would focus on the aspirations of ordinary Australians during their third term in power.
“They are the reason we have the opportunity and the great privilege to serve them each and every day,” he told colleagues.
“We must burn for the Australian people every single day that we have this privilege of serving them, in this party room and as a government.”
The prime minister warned his ministers there was a wealth of talent within the government’s ranks to keep the pressure on them to perform.
And he told his backbench colleagues he and his office would be accessible to them and he expected the same from his ministers.
The 46th parliament is expected to open in the first week of July.
Australian Associated Press