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Julia Gillard Biography

Early Life l Political Life



Early Life


A young Julia Gillard with her family

Jullia Gillard (botom right) with her father, mother, and sister Allison


Julia Gillard was born on September 29th, 1961, in Barry, Wales to John and Moira Gillard. When Julia was five, her family (including her sister Allison) moved to Adelaide, Australia, in the state of South Australia, where she was raised.

Gillard began her studies in arts and law at the University of Adelaide; but in 1983, she was elected the Vice President of the Australian Union of Students (AUS). Since the AUS headquarters were in Melbourne, she had to stop her studies in Adelaide, and continue them at the Melbourne University. That same year, the very politically active and aware Gillard, was elected the President of AUS.

After finishing her law degree in Melbourne, Gillard began working for the industrial law firm, Slater and Gordon, which she would later, in 1990, become a partner at. Her work at the firm focused primarily on employee rights after unfair dismissals and workplace disputes.

While working at the firm, Gillard switched her aims to that of a career in federal politics.


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Political Life


In 1996, Gillard entered the political world by becoming John Brumby’s (the then Opposition Leader of the State of Victoria) Chief-of-Staff. She served as Brumby’s Chief-of-Staff until 1998, when she ran for “the Federal seat of Lalor for the Australian Labor Party…and was elected that year.” *


From 1998 until 2001, Gillard served on a number of committees including, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations. Then in 2001, she was appointed Shadow Minister for Population and Immigration, and in 2003, she took on the responsibilities of the Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs Committee. Gillard also served as Shadow Minister for Health from 2003 to 2006. †


Julia Gillard became the Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) on December 4th, 2006, and also assumed the responsibility of Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Social Inclusion. The ALP came out on top after the 2007 elections and Gillard became the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion.


Prime Minister Julia Gillard with Governor-General Quentin Bryce at her swearing-in ceremony

Julia Gillard with Governor-General Quentin Bryce at her swearing-in ceremony


On June 24th, 2010 and September 14th, 2010 (there are two-swearing in sessions so as to follow the later Federal Election) Julia Gillard became the first female Prime Minister of Australia.


* "About the PM"

†  "Biography for Gillard, the Hon. Julia Eileen"



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