In 2020, Australians got to know their state premiers and chief ministers in a whole new way.
Every morning, we'd wait for our state or territories' morning COVID update, and cling to the words of our respective premiers as they read out our fate for the next week.
Victoria got to know their premier more intimately than everyone else. He fronted 120 consecutive press conferences as the state rode more waves and more lockdowns than the rest of the country.
But in March Daniel Andrews had a fall and broke several ribs and his vertebra. So his deputy, James Merlino, stepped up to the top job.
Acting Premier James Merlino says today’s three new cases are all close contacts of previous cases. He confirms lockdown will end in regional Victoria at 11:59pm tonight. More via @AAPNewswire pic.twitter.com/1jAHjC60zc— Benita Kolovos 🐯 (@benitakolovos) June 3, 2021
As Victorians get used to the new face leading them through their fourth lockdown, here's everything we know about him.
James Merlino's family life.
Merlino, 48, lives in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, with his wife of 15 years Meagen and their three children, Sophie, 13, Emma, 11, and Joshua, 9.
Meagen is a teacher at a public high school in Mount Waverley.
According to his website, Merlino is a keen reader, gardener, owner of two adopted greyhounds, Max and Sara, and a devout Catholic.