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Egyptian-Australian Anne Aly Becomes Australia’s First Muslim Woman Minister

June 1, 2022
Egyptian-Australian Anne Aly, first Muslim to serve as minister in Australia. Photo credit: AU Customer

Dr Anne Aly has become the first ever Muslim woman to serve as a minister in Australia.

Dr Aly, who was also the first Muslim woman to serve as a member of parliament in Australia after being elected in 2016, is set to serve as Minister of Early Childhood Education and Minister for Youth.

Born to Egyptian parents in Alexandria, Egypt in 1967, Dr Aly was sworn into office on 1 June 2022 alongside Ed Husic, who became the first Muslim man to serve as a minister in Australia, and 28 other members of the Labor party which recently claimed election victory in Australia.

Dr Aly was sworn in using a Qur’an by the Governor-General of Australia, which alongside her colleague Husic’s swearing in, marked a first in the country.

Throughout her career as a politician, Dr Aly has been promoting greater diversity and equality in Australian society. More recently, Dr Aly has been vocal about domestic abuse, calling for national action to address the fact that a woman is killed each week in Australia as a result of domestic violence.

Despite moving to Australia at the age of two, Dr Aly returned to Egypt for university, graduating from the American University in Cairo in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She later received her Master of Education degree and PhD from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia.

Dr Aly formally renounced her Egyptian citizenship in May 2016 as Australian law required her to do so in order to run for parliament.

Before she entered parliament as a Labor Party member, Dr Aly worked in education and multicultural affairs policy for the Government of Western Australia. After obtaining her PhD, she lectured in counter-terrorism and security at Edith Cowan University and at Curtin University.