Ms Bishop has served as the Member for Curtin in the House of Representatives since 1998.
She was Australia’s first female Foreign Minister serving from 18 September 2013 to 28 August 2018, following four years in the role of Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ms Bishop was the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party from December 2007 to August 2018.
As Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Bishop led the development of the 2017 Australian Foreign Policy White Paper – the first review of Australia’s international engagement for 14 years. The Foreign Policy White Paper sets out a comprehensive policy framework to ensure Australia’s prosperity and security over the next decade and beyond in an increasingly contested and competitive world.
Ms Bishop has overseen the single largest expansion of Australia’s overseas diplomatic presence in 40 years, introduced the New Colombo Plan to support Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the Indo Pacific region, and established the innovationXchange within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to develop bold and creative solutions to long standing development challenges.
She has strengthened Australia’s key strategic and economic relationships and enhanced Australia’s engagement in the Indo Pacific, particularly neighbouring Pacific Island countries. This includes normalising relations with Fiji, leading international recovery and reconstruction efforts in Vanuatu, establishing a school of leadership and governance in Papua New Guinea and committing a record $1.3 billion in overseas development assistance for the Pacific in the 2017-18 budget.
Ms Bishop promoted Australia’s interests at the United Nations Security Council, playing a lead role in the international response to the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine for which she was awarded the Commander of the Order of Merit of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2014.
She previously served as a Cabinet Minister from 2006 to 2007 in the Howard Government as Minister for Education, Science and Training and as the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues. Ms Bishop was Minister for Ageing from 2003 until 2006.
Ms Bishop has also served on a number of parliamentary and policy committees including as Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.
Before entering Parliament Ms Bishop was a commercial litigation lawyer at Perth firm Clayton Utz, becoming a partner in 1985, and managing partner in 1994.
Ms Bishop graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Adelaide in 1978 and attended Harvard Business School in Boston in 1996, completing the Advanced Management Program for Senior Managers.
In 2017 the University of Adelaide awarded Ms Bishop the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University for her contribution to the Australian Parliament.