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Julia Gillard AC

b. 1961

Julia Gillard AC (b. 1961) was prime minister of Australia from June 2010 to June 2013. Born in Wales, Gillard came to Adelaide with her parents at the age of five. She joined the Labor Party while studying at Adelaide University. In 1982 she moved to Melbourne, where she completed her studies in Arts and Law at the University of Melbourne; at that time, she increased her political involvement, serving as President of the Carlton branch of the ALP from 1985 to 1989. In 1987 she joined Slater and Gordon, industrial law specialists; she was a partner in the firm from 1990 to 1995, leaving to become Chief of Staff to Victorian Opposition leader John Brumby. In 1998 she was elected as the Labor member for Lalor, on the western outskirts of Melbourne. The following year she was a member of the official Australian observer mission to the Indonesian elections. Through 2001 to 2007 she was a member of the Shadow Ministry, her concerns including population, immigration, reconciliation and Indigenous affairs, health, employment and social inclusion. In December 2006 she became deputy leader of the Labor Party. Three and a half years later, on 24 June 2010, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd resigned from the leadership and she was elected unopposed, becoming the first female prime minister of Australia and first female leader of the Labor Party. On 26 June 2013 she lost the leadership in a spill to Kevin Rudd; she resigned the following day, and announced that she would not contest the seat of Lalor in the 2013 federal election. In her farewell speech, she described significant achievements of her own tenure as the introduction of a price on carbon, Disability Care, education reforms and the Royal Commission on institutional child abuse; others have noted the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes and important broad tax reforms introduced alongside the carbon price.

Updated 2017