Admired across the rank and file for being intelligent, clear thinking and politically strategic and for her effectiveness on her feet, Julia Gillard was the first and, to date, only female Australian Prime Minister.
As Prime Minister and in her previous role as Deputy Prime Minister, Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia’s economy during the Global Financial Crisis and as Australia positioned to seize the benefits of Asia’s rise.
Gillard developed Australia’s guiding policy paper, Australia in the Asian Century. She delivered nation-changing policies including reforming Australia education at every level from early childhood to university education, creating an emissions trading scheme, improving the provision and sustainability of health care, aged care and dental care, commencing the nation’s first ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities and restructuring the telecommunications sector as well as building a national broadband network.
In foreign policy, Gillard strengthened Australia’s alliance with the United States, secured stronger architecture for the relationship with China, upgraded Australia’s ties with India, and deepened ties with Japan, Indonesia and South Korea. Gillard has represented Australia at the G20, including winning Australia’s right to host the 2014 meeting, the East Asia Summit, APEC, NATO-ISAF and chaired CHOGM. Under Gillard’s leadership, Australia was elected to serve on the United Nations Security Council.
In 2014, Gillard was appointed chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a leading organization dedicated to expanding access and quality education worldwide.
In February 2015, Gillard was appointed Chancellor of Dūcere. On her appointment Gillard said ‘the connection between higher education, industry and government is vital to the future success of academic institutions. So too are the links between academic underpinning and real world learning at all levels of education which is one of the main reasons for my involvement with Dūcere.
Gillard’s book My Story was published in 2014.