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New faces sworn into Rudd ministry

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s frontbench reshuffle is now official following the swearing-in of 15 new ministers and parliamentary secretaries.

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Governor-General Quentin Bryce, dressed in an emerald green skirt-suit, presided over the ceremony recognising 20 portfolio changes at Government House in Yarralumla on Tuesday.

The reshuffle was prompted by former Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon’s resignation last week following revelations he had breached the ministerial code of conduct.

Newly-appointed Defence Minister John Faulkner was the first to take his oath as Mr Rudd presented each politician to Ms Bryce in order of precedence.

Joe Ludwig, who will take over Senator Faulkner’s roles as cabinet secretary and special minister of state went next, followed by Chris Bowen.

Mr Bowen was promoted to Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law, and Minister for Human Services.

Only two women were elevated as part of the reshuffle.

Kate Ellis picked up early childhood education and childcare to go with her portfolios of sport and youth.

Maxine McKew will swap her childcare and early childhood education parliamentary secretary role for infrastructure,

transport and regional development, and local government.

Ms Bryce said she admired and respected those who chose to serve the community through public office.

But she warned it was a tough job and offered the group some simple, yet sage advice.

“In your great battle against time, probably the toughest one we have in 2009, set aside some time for replenishment of your intellectual and physical wellbeing, to recharge and reflect,” she said.