What you don't know about Scott Morrison – from his acting career to that Maccas rumour

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·News Reporter
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With the federal election likely to be called for the next half of 2022, Yahoo News Australia has answered the questions which are most frequently asked about Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

How old is Scott Morrison?

Scott John Morrison, also known by the nickname Scomo, was the younger of two sons born to Marion and John Douglas Morrison in Waverley on May 13, 1968, making him 53 years old.

Where did Scott Morrison grow up?

Mr Morrison grew up in Bronte and was educated at Sydney Boys High School. He proudly supports the Cronulla Sharks rugby league team.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison smiling.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Source: Getty Images.

Who is Scott Morrison's wife?

Mr Morrison started dating his wife Jenny (nee Warren) when they were both 16.

They married in 1990 and have two daughters, Abbey and Lily.

The prime minister has been known to seek counsel from his wife on a number of national issues.

"Jenny and I spoke last night and she said to me, you have to think about this as a father," he said when announcing a review into workplace culture at Parliament House.

Where did Scott Morrison work before entering politics?

Mr Morrison had a brief career as a child actor where he had small roles in local shows and appeared in several television commercials, including a Vicks ad.

After studying economic geography at the University of NSW, Mr Morrison made his mark in the tourism industry.

He had a stint at the Tourism Task Force before becoming the general manager of the Tourism Council of Australia between 1996 and 1998.

He was director of the New Zealand Office of Tourism and Sport between 1998 and 2000, before returning to Australia as the state director of the New South Wales Liberal Party between 2000 and 2004.

In 2004 he was appointed chief executive of Tourism Australia where he oversaw the controversial but successful “Where the bloody hell are you?” advertising campaign (which came back to haunt him during the 2019 bushfires).

The campaign was banned in traditional media by the British Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre for its use of the word bloody, which only made it go viral online, spurring further success in the US and Germany.

What is Scott Morrison's religion?

Mr Morrison was raised as a Presbyterian, a church which partly merged into the Uniting Church when he was a child.

He is now a proud Pentecostal Christian, often seen at large Horizon Church events singing, praying and “laying on hands”.

Scott Morrison and wife Jenny singing at a church service.
Scott Morrison often publicly celebrates his faith with wife Jenny. Source: Getty Images

What were Scott Morrison's previous political roles?

His political career started at the age of nine when he handed out how-to-vote cards for his father John, who served on the Waverley Municipal Council, including one term as mayor.

Mr Morrison was preselected for the Liberal Party for the safe seat of Cook in 2007, before going on to win the seat in the federal election later that year.

In September 2008, Mr Morrison was appointed to Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition front bench as shadow minister for housing and local government.

In December 2009, he became shadow minister for Immigration and Citizenship after Tony Abbott ousted Turnbull from the Liberal leadership.

After the Coalition’s 2013 federal election win under Abbott, Morrison was appointed Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

He was Minister for Social Services in 2014 before becoming Treasurer in 2015.

What are some of the scandals Scott Morrison has faced?

Robodebts

In 2018-19 Mr Morrison was the Minister for Social Services where he oversaw a policy that used the Robodebt computer algorithm system to collect Centrelink welfare debts.

Many people were hit with incorrect welfare debts and Morrison was later forced to admit that the program was flawed.

A class action by the victims of the scandal was settled in November, 2020.

Brittany Higgins sexual assault

Mr Morrison was also accused of presiding over a misogynistic government following rape claims by former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins that exposed a sleazy culture in federal parliament.

Ms Higgins alleged she was raped in Parliament House by a fellow staffer in 2019, allegations that were aired in the media in February 2021.

While Morrison claimed he was unaware of Ms Higgins’ alleged rape until it broke in the media, he copped harsh criticism for presiding over a government that swept such a serious issue under the carpet.

The French Submarines and electric vehicles

French President Emmanuel Macron accused Morrison of lying about the abandoned submarine deal when asked by the ABC.

This was later put to Morrison during an interview with Neil Mitchell on 3AW on 12 November, 2021 where Mitchell asked: “You ever told a lie in public life?”

Morrison responded: “I don’t believe I have, no.”

Morrison was also caught out with the recent electric vehicles policy announcement by the coalition, after criticising a similar policy launched by Labor in 2019 as “ending the weekend” of all Australians.

The Engadine Maccas incident

Rumour has it that our current prime minister soiled himself at the Engadine McDonalds after his beloved NRL team, the Cronulla Sharks, lost the grand final in 1997.

The rumour came from Sydney-based hip hop artist Joyride who shared it on Twitter.

“That is the biggest load of rubbish that thing,” Morrison told KIIS FM's Will and Woody show in April, 2020.

Despite Mr Morrison flushing the rumour down the toilet, the stink continues to follow him around.

When did Scott Morrison become Prime Minister?

Peter Dutton instigated a leadership challenge against then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in August 2018 but was unable to get the numbers to oust him as leader.

Despite winning the challenge, Mr Turnbull resigned after continued speculation of a second spill.

In the second vote Mr Morrison was offered as a "compromise candidate” and won the leadership, defeating Mr Dutton.

How did Scott Morrison respond to the 2019 bushfire crisis?

The Morrison government’s climate change policy was widely blamed for contributing to the devastating bushfires in September 2019.

It didn’t help that the Prime Minister took a holiday in Hawaii with his family during one of the worst natural disasters in Australian history.

Morrison cut his holiday short after two volunteers died fighting the fires, but their colleagues didn’t let him forget it, with many refusing to shake his hand as he visited the affected communities.

A mural by artist Scott Marsh depicting Prime Minister Scott Morrison on holiday in Hawaii.
Scott Morrison was heavily criticised for holidaying in Hawaii during the worst bushfires in Australian history. Source: Getty Images

How has Scott Morrison responded to the Covid pandemic?

Despite initially receiving praise for his government’s quick response to the Covid-19 pandemic in containing the virus and supporting those affected, many directed their anger at Morrison over the delay to the vaccine rollout.

The Morrison government dedicated a large chunk of Australia’s GDP to support those whose livelihoods were disrupted by the lockdown and to prop up the economy.

However, Mr Morrison was forced to apologise for the slow rollout of the vaccines, which was also blamed for prolonged and repeated lockdowns around the nation while most of the world reopened.

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