Margie Abbott

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Margie Abbott
Margie Abbott at the Canberra Operation Slipper Welcome Home Ceremony in March 2015.jpg
Margie Abbott in 2015
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Australia
In role
18 September 2013 – 15 September 2015
Preceded by Thérèse Rein
Succeeded by Lucy Turnbull
Personal details
Born Margaret Veronica Aitken
(1958-02-01) 1 February 1958 (age 60)
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Tony Abbott (m. 1988)
Children 3[1][2]
Education Wellington Teachers College
Occupation Schoolteacher, businesswoman

Margaret Veronica "Margie" Abbott (née Aitken; born 1 February 1958)[3][4] is an Australian businesswoman who is best known as the wife of Tony Abbott, the 28th Prime Minister of Australia (2013–2015). She runs a childcare centre in Sydney.

Early life

Margaret Veronica Aitken was born in Hutt Hospital,[5] Lower Hutt, New Zealand to Max and Gail Aitken, and grew up in Wainuiomata. Both parents worked for the Post Office, Max as deputy chief postmaster of Wellington, and Gail as a typist.[6] She has a brother, Greg, a former private investigator.[6] The family has always been very sport-oriented; Max Aitken is a senior soccer administrator, and Abbott played soccer and netball for a number of years.[6] She is a Catholic, like her husband.[7]

Max Aitken is a member of the New Zealand Labour Party and Gail is also a Labour voter.[6] There were pictures of Labour leaders in the kitchen of the family home.[8] Abbott was also briefly a member of the Labour Party.[9][10]

Abbott attended Fernlea School and Wainuiomata College,[5] where among other studies she took part in a pioneering Maori-language course.[6][10] At the age of 16, she entered the Wellington Teachers' College, and after graduation taught primary school in Upper Hutt and Wainuiomata. She taught Maori both there and later in Australia.[9]


After leaving teaching, she worked at a recruitment firm, and in 1983[10] followed her boss to Sydney, Australia, when he sold the company. Her next career move was to the marketing department of Rothschild Australia, a merchant bank in Sydney.[citation needed] She eventually opened a community-based not-for-profit child care centre in St Ives, Sydney,[11] which employs 10 staff[when?] and cares for children from around 100 families.[9][10] She continued as a director of the centre after her husband became prime minister.[12]

Marriage and children

She met Tony Abbott at a Sydney pub in 1988; he was then a journalist with The Bulletin. He proposed after taking her on the Kokoda Track. They married at Riverview Chapel on 24 September 1988, and have three daughters: Louise, Frances, and Bridget.[13]

Wife of the prime minister

Mrs Abbott kept a relatively low profile during her husband's prime ministership, giving only a handful of interviews. She continued living in Sydney – neither she nor her husband lived at The Lodge, the usual prime minister's residence in Canberra, as it was undergoing renovations.[14]

In September 2013, Mrs Abbott attracted media attention when she made comments apparently supportive of same-sex marriage; her husband was one of its most prominent opponents. She told the media "I suppose at the end of the day I think that love, commitment, are things that should be recognised and I think it's a conversation that Australia needs to have".[15]

In May 2014, Tim Mathieson, the partner of former prime minister Julia Gillard, gave an interview in which he said he was "disappointed that Margie Abbott is not doing any charity work [...] she has not contributed to any of them". In response, the Prime Minister's Office issued a list of the charities with which she was involved.[16]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Tony Abbott's daughters Bridget and Frances speak about claims their 'daggy Dad' is a misogynist and more".
  3. ^ "Interview with Robin, Terry and Bob, 97.3FM Brisbane". Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Abbott And Costello Defamation Action". Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b Ash, Julie; Chapman, Katie (28 August 2010). "Kiwi could be first lady of Aussie". Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e Sydney Morning Herald, 7 September 2013, "From a Kiwi Labour past to Tory Tony's first lady"; Retrieved 12 September 2013
  7. ^ David Marr, Rudd v. Abbott; retrieved 12 September 2013.
  8. ^ Anthony Hubbard, "Abbott earns a liberal dose of respect from a Labor-voting Kiwi connection", The Age, 7 September 2013, p. 6
  9. ^ a b c New Zealand Herald, 8 September 2013, "New PM will have Kiwi at his side"; Retrieved 12 September 2013
  10. ^ a b c d Speech by Margie Abbott, The Joy of an Ordinary Life Archived 27 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine.; Retrieved 12 September 2013
  11. ^
  12. ^ Nicastri, Danielle (1 November 2013). "Wife of Prime Minister, Margie Abbott celebrates fun fair at her St Ives childcare centre". North Shore Times. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  13. ^ The Age, 25 March 2005, "The Abbott Paradox"; retrieved 12 September 2013
  14. ^ Margie Abbott discusses husband Tony and their future in interview with Women's Weekly magazine, ABC News, 18 March 2015
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ Margie Abbott details charity work in response to Tim Mathieson's criticism, The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 May 2014.
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Thérèse Rein
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Australia
18 September 2013 – 15 September 2015
Succeeded by
Lucy Turnbull
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