Senator the Hon Penny Wong was shortlisted for the 2022 McKinnon Prize Political Leader of the Year for her strong transition from Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs to Minister for Foreign Affairs and her demonstrated commitment to re-setting Australia’s foreign policy agenda.
The Shortlisting Committee recognised Wong as hugely influential in her dealings both in the Pacific and with China citing her immediate international schedule on being sworn in as Minister as evidence of her drive and sense of purpose. The Committee noted Wong has demonstrated a distinct shift in Australian foreign affairs towards multilateralism and diplomacy in her short time as Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Committee noted that in December 2022, Wong was the first Australian minister to visit China in three years. The Committee also commended her achievement in changing the tone of the discussion with China and her demonstrated capacity to collaborate with both domestic and international counterparts.