On Wednesday 23 June 2010, with the government in turmoil, Julia Gillard asked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for a leadership ballot.
The next day, Julia Gillard became Australia's 27th prime minister, and our first female leader. Australia was alive to the historic possibilities. Here was a new approach for a new time.
It was to last three extraordinary years.
This is Julia Gillard's chronicle of that turbulent time, a strikingly candid self-portrait of a political leader seeking to realise her ideals. It is her story of what it was like - in the face of government in-fighting and often hostile media - to manage a hung parliament, build a diverse and robust economy, create an equitable and world-class education system, ensure a dignified future for Australians with disabilities, all while attending to our international obligations and building strategic alliances for our future. This is a politician driven by a sense of purpose - from campus days with the Australian Union of Students, to a career in the law, to her often gritty, occasionally glittering rise up the ranks of the Australian Labor Party.
Refreshingly honest, peppered with a wry humour and personal insights, Julia Gillard does not shy away from her mistakes, admitting freely to errors, misjudgements, and policy failures as well as detailing her political successes. In the immediate aftermath of the leadership, here is her account, of what was hidden behind the resilience and dignified courage Gillard showed as prime minister, her view of the vicious hate campaigns directed against her, and a reflection on what it means - and what it takes - to be a woman leader in contemporary politics.
With new material and fresh insights, Julia Gillard reveals what life was really like as Australia's first female prime minister.
Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013.
As Prime Minister and in her previous role as Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia's economy, the 12th biggest economy in the world, during the Global Financial Crisis and as Australia positioned to seize the benefits of Asia's rise. Ms Gillard developed Australia's guiding policy paper, Australia in the Asian Century. Ms Gillard 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, Ms 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. Ms 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 Ms Gillard's leadership, Australia was elected to serve on the United Nations Security Council.
Ms Gillard is a Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington. In February 2014, Ms Gillard was appointed chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a leading organisation dedicated to expanding access and quality education worldwide.
In February 2015, Ms Gillard was appointed Chancellor of Ducere, Australia's leading education provider for business and management courses from Diploma levels through to a world's first MBA program. Ms Gillard also serves as an Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide, and is Patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library in Perth, Western Australia. Ms Gillard is a member of the board of directors of Beyond Blue, which is committed to helping Australians understand and manage anxiety and depression.
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