Australia’s unofficial ‘First Lady’ Jodie Haydon has accompanied Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong to Asia for their latest overseas trip.
Mr Albanese – who has a series of diplomatic tours planned for the three months that will see him rack up more than 106,500km in the air – is in Jakarta, Indonesia for the ASEAN and East Asia summits.
Ms Haydon, a cancer charity advocate who began dating Mr Albanese in early 2020, has tagged along on the trip.
When asked by Daily Mail Australia what her role would be, the Prime Minister’s office chose to ignore the question.
Meanwhile, Senator Wong is flying solo, with her partner Sophie Allouache remaining in Australia with the couple’s two young daughters, 11 and eight.
Ms Haydon has previously accompanied the Prime Minister on visits around Australia as well as on the world stage on official overseas visits to Dubai, Madrid, Paris and London, wearing a carousel of designer dresses.
Unofficial ‘First Lady’ of Australia Jodie Haydon has accompanied Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Jakarta (pictured)
Mr Albanese and Ms Haydon (pictured) step off the RAAF jet in Jakarta where the PM is attending the ASEAN and East Asia Summits. Whether Ms Haydon has any official duties on the trip is unknown
Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong (pictured) appeared to be going solo for the trip in her capacity as Foreign Affairs Minister (pictured)
Last year, Ms Haydon launched a beaming charm offensive to win over French President Emmanuel Macron as she accompanied Mr Albanese to Paris.
Ms Haydon stood out from the blue-clad crowd in a vibrant hot pink dress as she exchanged laughs and smiles with President Macron and his wife Brigitte, in stark contrast to the frosty reception he gave former prime minister Scott Morrison.
At one stage, the French President kissed Ms Haydon’s hand, who also laughed and joked with his wife as they stood on the steps of the Elysee Palace.
The meeting was a diplomatic coup to repair the fractured relationship after Mr Morrison’s surprise decision to dump Australia’s $90 billion submarine contract with France.
The move prompted President Macron to accuse Mr Morrison of lying to him over the deal, and led to an embarrassing leak of private text messages which threatened to spark an international incident.
But the change in Australian government seemed to win over the French, with President Macron declaring Mr Albanese was ‘not responsible’ for the submarine debacle.
Ms Haydon joined Mr Albanese on a trip to France last year (pictured) and turned on the charm to thaw frosty relations between Australia and France following the submarine contract saga
The foursome put on a warm display for the media at Elysee Palace in Paris last July (pictured)
Ms Haydon and Brigitte Macron appeared as if they were old friends (pictured)
Ms Haydon wore a sparkling green dress as she arrived in France last year by Mr Albanese’s side (pictured)
Before France, Ms Haydon stopped in Dubai enroute to Europe and spoke to Australian troops at Camp Baird in Dubai and laid a wreath at the memorial there.
She then accompanied the Prime Minister on to Madrid where he was invited to attend the NATO Leaders Summit, though Australia is not a part of the organisation.
The pair also attended a gala dinner hosted by Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia for leaders at the meeting of the NATO military alliance and their partners.
Anthony Albanese and partner Jodie Haydon disembark after arriving at Torrejon Airbase in Madrid (pictured)
PM Anthony Albanese and Ms Haydon meet His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain and his wife Queen Letizia (pictured)
Jodie Haydon and Queen Letizia appeared friendly during the Nato summit in Segovia, Spain (pictured)
Albanese and partner Jodie Haydon lay a wreath at Camp Baird memorial at Australia’s main operating base in the Middle East Al Minhad Air base, United Arab Emirates on June 27 last year (pictured)
In September last year Mr Albanese and Ms Hayden wore solemn black and appeared emotional as they stood alongside a host of world leaders at the Queen’s funeral while Australia’s military joined the procession through London.
The Australian Prime Minister stood behind Canadian leader Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie, during the service at Westminster Abbey.
Other heads of state to attend included New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Anthony Albanese Prime Minister of Australia and his partner Jodie Haydon signing a book of condolence at Lancaster House in London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II
The pair then returned to London in May this year for the Coronation of King Charles III at Westminster Abbey.
Mr Albanese and Ms Haydon held hands as they entered the Abbey with other heads of state from around the world, with Ms Haydon wearing a royal blue dress and matching hat and Mr Albanese in a navy suit with a red speckled tie.
Soccer superstar and Matildas captain Sam Kerr also attended as Australia’s flagbearer and wore a smart black suit as she led the cohort of Australians inside the church.
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins was also seen in the procession, alongside Canada’s leader Justin Trudeau.
Governor General David Hurley walked ahead of Mr Albanese and Ms Haydon and was joined by his wife Linda Hurley.
David Hurley, Governer General of Australia, Linda Hurley, Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of Australia and Jodie Haydon attend the Coronation of King Charles III in London. Sam Kerr walks ahead as flag bearer (pictured)
Ms Haydon also regularly accompanies Mr Albanese on flights around Australia on his official duties.
In August the pair met with Aboriginal elders at the Garma Festival – Australia’s largest Indigenous cultural gathering – in East Arnhem in the Northern Territory.
The couple both donned large wide-brimmed hats for the occasion, with Ms Haydon wearing brown boots paired with khaki pants and a white linen shirt. Opting the next day for a T-shirt and flowing dress.
The Prime Minister said he was confident Australians would vote Yes in the upcoming referendum, expected to be announced between October and December.
Ms Haydon has also attended major sporting events with the PM including women’s FIFA world cup matches in Brisbane and the Australian Open in Melbourne in January.
Mr Albanese was joined by his partner Jodie Haydon on the trip to East Arnhem in the Northern Territory in August
Prime Minister of Australia, and Jodie Haydon look on during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Third Place Match match between Sweden and Australia at Brisbane Stadium on August 19
Mr Albanese enjoys an ice cream as he watches Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in action during the Men’s Singles Final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the 2023 Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park in Melbourne (pictured)
Earlier this week Sunrise host Nat Barr questioned the timing of latest Asian trip – just days after launching the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum campaign and a Newspoll released showing support for the Constitutional amendment has dropped into the minority.
The week-long trip to Asia will also see Mr Albanese and Ms Haydon visit the Philippines and then India for the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
It is the first in a run of eight overseas voyages before the end of the year.
The marathon global diplomatic blitz adds to the 23 overseas trips he has already taken across four continents since becoming PM in May, 2022.
The PM will return to Australia in September for a few days before he’s expected to leave again, this time to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
Mr Albanese will then be thrown into the last two weeks of campaigning to muster support for the Voice referendum before flying off yet again.
Mr Albanese revealed on Wednesday at the ASEAN Summit almost $100 million will be spent in a first round of measures in a new strategy to boost trade with Southeast Asia.
It has been described as the biggest upgrade to economic ties with the region in decades as Australia tries to diversify its trade away from China.
Mr Albanese donned a traditional Indonesian batik shirt as he met Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife Iriana
Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040 sets out ways to increase trade links with the fastest growing economy in the region.
The strategy laid out 75 recommendations to grow partnerships with Asian nations, including cutting business red tape, boosting scholarships and freeing up the aviation sector.
As part of the first suite of initiatives for the strategy, $95.4 million will be spent over the next four years on measures to increase investment.
They include $70 million for teams based in the region to work with Australian investors and Southeast Asian business, along with $19 million on a Southeast Asia business exchange program to boost two-way trade.
A further $6 million will be set aside for a pilot program for placements and internships for young professionals in Australian and Southeast Asian businesses.