HerStory Archive

GILLARD, Julia Eileen

Also known as: Dr Julia Gillard

Born: 29/9/1961

Special Achievements:

Julia Gillard was Australia’s first female Prime Minister, sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and serving in that office until June 2013.  Previously, following the Australian Labor Party's victory at the 2007 Federal Election, Ms Gillard served as Australia’s first female Deputy Prime Minister.  She was the first Australian woman to hold the positions of Deputy Prime Minister, Prime Minister and leader of a major party in Australia.

Julia Gillard first contested the Federal seat of Lalor for the Australian Labor Party in 1998 and was elected that year.  She retired as the Member for Lalor in the 2013 Federal election.

Upon leaving politics, Julia Gillard became chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a leading organization dedicated to expanding access and quality education worldwide, as well as being appointed a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and serving as an Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide.

Additional Information:

In October 2012, while Prime Minister, Julia Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life.  She later wrote: “That speech brought me the reputation of being the one who was brave enough to name sexism and misogyny.  And it brought with it all the baggage that stops women naming sexism and misogyny when they see it: I was accused of playing the gender card, of playing the victim.  Dumb, trite arguments that entirely miss the point.  Someone who acts in a sexist manner, who imposes sexist stereotypes, is playing the gender card.  It is that person who is misusing gender to dismiss, to confine, to humiliate: not the woman who calls it for what it is.  Calling the sexism out is not playing the victim.  I have done it and I know how it made me feel.  Strong.  I am nobody’s victim.  It is the only strategy that will enable change.  What is the alternative?  Staying silent?  So the sexism is never named, never addressed, nothing ever changes?  In my final speech as prime minister, I said, ‘I am absolutely confident…it will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that.  And I’m proud of that.’” (from Julia Gillard, My Story, Random House, Sydney, 2014, pp. 112 and 114).


Resources

  • Image - Julia Gillard

    Image courtesy of Julia Gillard with thanks to Marielle Smith, Adviser, Office of the Hon. Julia Gillard


  • References

    Julia Gillard, My Story, Random House, Sydney, 2014.