A member of the Liberal Party since 1982, Marise was the National Young Liberal Movement's first female President. She also served on the NSW Liberal State Executive for 10 years and at branch and electorate levels.
Having served as a political adviser to some of the most significant figures in Liberal politics of their time, Marise went on to a career as a public affairs adviser in the finance industry.
In 1997 Marise filled a casual vacancy to represent the people of New South Wales in the Australian Senate, making her inaugural speech on 2 September 1997. She was then elected in 2001, 2007 and 2013.
Marise has served as Shadow Minister for Indigenous Development and Employment, Shadow Minister for COAG [Council of Australian Governments] and Shadow Minister for Housing. She plays an active role in the Senate and has been a member of both Joint and Senate committees, including as Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and as Chair of its Human Rights subcommittee.
In 2013 Marise was appointed as Minister for Human Services in the Abbott Government.
From its inception in 2003, Marise was co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Dementia (PFOD) group until February 2011 and is currently co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Rugby League group.
Based in western Sydney for over ten years, Marise has come to know the local community well and now works alongside local organisations and businesses to help the region develop its great potential.
Outside parliament, Marise continues to work in the community on issues as diverse as human rights, emerging technologies and the implications of our ageing population.
Away from politics, she is a committed fan of the St George/Illawarra NRL team and the Geelong Cats, an enthusiastic supporter of the arts in Australia, spends as much time as she can in the Southern Highlands and she cooks for therapy. Marise and her partner live in a newly built home in Mulgoa.