24 August 2018 — 23 May 2022 3 years, 273 days

Scott Morrison became Australia’s 30th Prime Minister when he was elected as Leader by the Parliamentary Liberal Party following the resignation of Malcolm Turnbull.


13 May 1968
Sydney, New South Wales


Jenny Morrison



Photo: Alex Ellinghausen/Fairfax

24 August 2018 — 23 May 2022 3 years, 273 days


Throughout his time as prime minister, Scott Morrison has cultivated the identity of an ‘ordinary Aussie bloke’, reflected in his adoption of the nickname ‘ScoMo’, and an earnest desire to govern in what he considers to be Australia’s national interest.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Jane Malysiak, an aged care resident, who was first person in Australia to have the Covid-19 vaccine, at the Castle Hill Medical Centre in Sydney, New South Wales.

Photo: Justin Lloyd/Newspix

The Morrison family passions included sport, community service, local politics, church and amateur theatre. A church musical part led to Morrison becoming a child actor in television advertisements. His father John was a police officer and mayor of Waverley and, with his mother Marion, were active members of the community church. As Australia’s first Pentecostal prime minister, religion continues to be an important aspect of Morrison’s life.

Morrison was educated at Sydney Boys High and later the University of New South Wales. He worked for the Property Council of Australia before moving to the Australian Tourism Task Force and later to the rival Tourism Council. In 1998, Morrison headed New Zealand’s Office of Tourism and Sport.

He returned to Sydney and became state director of the NSW Liberal Party from 2000 to 2004. He left to run Tourism Australia and became known for the ‘Where the bloody hell are you?’ advertising campaign to promote Australia to international visitors.

His marketing background has influenced the rhetorical style of his prime ministership as he has been known to exclaim, ‘How good is Australia! How good are Australians!’ as well as producing many visual accompaniments to his campaign trails and media releases. Morrison won the federal seat of Cook in 2007 after the retirement of Bruce Baird. Morrison was Minister for Immigration and Border Protection in 2013 and, after a reshuffle, became Minister for Social Services in 2014.

Before becoming prime minister, Morrison served as federal Treasurer in the Turnbull Government where he is remembered for reducing the deficit and theatrically bringing a piece of coal into parliament to demonstrate the importance of the mining industry in Australia. 




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The Morrison government was required to negotiate with a growing and increasingly complicated crossbench of seven members in the House of Representatives up until the May 2019 federal election. Morrison’s election victory defied the predictions of major national opinion polls and was an outcome he referred to as a ‘miracle’ brought about by the ‘quiet Australians’. Morrison was lauded in the new headlines as the ‘Messiah from the Shire.’ The Coalition gained an additional seat, obtaining a majority and 77 of the 151 seats in the House of Representatives, while Labor lost one seat.

While Morrison's response to the 2019-2020 bushfires was criticised by some for being passive and delayed, he committed to creating a new law to allow the federal government to declare a national state of emergency in the event of future national disasters. A second crisis emerged with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020 as parliament suspended all sittings for five months between March and August 2020 and deferred authority to the new National Cabinet. 

The adjournment of parliament was met with some concern for its potential to disrupt parliamentary process and oversight, with limited sittings scheduled to pass major economic stimulus packages. The Morrison government followed health advice from Chief Medical Office Brendan Murphy to close Australia's border, introduce international travel bans, enforce all returned travellers to undertake 14-day hotel quarantine and lock down all non-essential services. 

As the borders gradually reopened and the federal election loomed in May 2022, the Morrison government drew attention to its political achievements including the $17.7 billion aged care package in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the trilateral AUKUS security partnership with the United States and United Kingdom and the continuation of the National Cabinet to replace COAG as a more effective forum for Federal-State relations.    

After the election defeat it emerged that Scott Morrison, while prime minister, had secretly appointed himself to five ministerial positions between March 2020 and May 2021, despite there being an incumbent minister in each portfolio. His failure to disclose these appointments to the parliament and public resulted in a censure motion in the House of Representatives on 30 November 2022. Morrison is the first non-sitting prime minister to be censured.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison holding a ladder in the town of Kalbarri in Western Australia that has been damaged by a cyclone.

Photo: Justin Benson-Cooper/Getty

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