Albanese is regarded as a pragmatic leader with a working-class background, who pledged to unite the country by ending divisions
Anthony Albanese, nicknamed ’Albo’, will become the 31st Prime Minister of Australia after his Labor Party defeated the ruling coalition led by Scott Morrison in the federal elections on Saturday.
Albanese is regarded as a pragmatic leader with a working-class background, who pledged to unite the country by ending divisions.
"I think people have had enough of division, what they want is to come together as a nation and I intend to lead that," the Labor Party leader said after Morrison conceded defeat on Saturday.
Scott Morrison’s defeat
Scott Morrison’s defeat in the elections brings an end to almost a decade of conservative rule. With the Labor Party garnering support of the Australian Greens and the so called ‘teal independents’, the new Parliament is likely to be pro-climate than Morrison's pro-coal mining administration.
Morrision, however, brought unemployment to its lowest level in almost half a century, which was highlighted in his campaign. The Labor Party focussed on rising inflation and sluggish wage growth.
Son of a single mom
Albanese comes from a humble background that the Labor Party highlighted during their election campaign. Albanese reminded his supporters of his working-class origins in his acceptance speech on Saturday.
“It says a lot about our great country that a son of a single mum who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown, can stand before you tonight as Australia’s prime minister,” Albanese said.
The 59-year-old prime minister was born in March 1963 in Darlinghurst, an eastern suburb of Sydney. He was born to an Italian father and an Irish-Australian mother.
As a child, Albanese was told that his father died shortly after his parents met while his mother, Maryanne Ellery, was traveling overseas. It was only as a teenager that he got to know that his mother had become pregnant by a married man who lived in Italy, Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Out of guilt of having a child out of wedlock in 1963, Catholic-raised Maryanne Ellery adopted the Albanese surname and even wore a wedding ring, he said.
He later tracked his father Carlo Albanese and met him and his half siblings in Italy, BBC reported.
At times, he depended on neighbours for food as his mother was unable to provide for him, the Prime Minister said while speaking to the National Press Club in January. That shaped his determination to help people like him by giving them a better life.
Initiation to politics
Albanese used to attend local Labor Party meetings with his mother and grandparents as a Catholic-school boy. Even as a 12-year-old, Albanese helped in organising a rent strike to prevent the place where they were living from being sold off to developers, Sky News reported.
He was the first in his family to finish school and attend university. As a student, he studied economics and became involved in politics. He was elected president of Young Labor at the age of 22 and was then working as research officer under Bob Hawke, who was the longest-serving prime minister from the party.
It was on his 33rd birthday that Albanese was elected to the Australian Parliament, The Washington Post reported.
He steadily rose up the ranks and also became the deputy prime minister in 2013 for a brief period. After the Labor Party suffered a shock defeat in the 2019 election, Albanese became the Leader of Opposition.
In the run-up to the elections, Albanese, once popular as a leading voice of the Labor Party's left faction, had softened his left-wing image. He had based his campaign on proposals such as improving the country's aged care sector, providing cheaper childcare, reducing the gender wage gap and reinvigorating the manufacturing industry, while stepping up climate action, BBC reported.
The new Australian Prime Minister is set to meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and Japanese and US premiers in Tokyo at the Quad meet.
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(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
First Published: IST