Julia Gillard life and biography

Julia Gillard picture, image, poster

Julia Gillard biography

Date of birth : 1961-09-29
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Barry, Wales, England
Nationality : British-Australian
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2010-07-23
Credited as : Politician and Lawyer, Prime Minister of Australia, World's political leader

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Julia Eileen Gillard, born 29 September 1961 in Barry, Wales, United Kingdom is the 27th and current Prime Minister of Australia. Born in Wales, Gillard migrated to Adelaide, South Australia with her family as a child. She became involved in Labor student politics in Adelaide and then Melbourne, and worked as an industrial lawyer with a law firm. After serving as Chief of Staff to Victorian opposition leader John Brumby, she was elected Member for Lalor in the House of Representatives at the 1998 election.

In June of 2010, Julia Gillard became the prime minister of Australia, the first woman to hold the post. A respected member of the Labor Party, she replaced Kevin Rudd, who was forced to resign by his party. Gillard's elevation was monumental in the traditionally male-dominated culture of Australia. As Andrew Hughes, a political analyst at Australian National University, told John M. Glionna and Jennifer Bennett of the Los Angeles Times, "Australian politics has been quite conservative, and it comes as a big shock for a woman to be elected prime minister."

Immigrated to Australia

Born on September 29, 1961, in Barry, Wales, she was the daughter of John and Moira Gillard. Her father worked as a coal miner. The family immigrated to Australia in 1966 because Gillard had severe recurring pneumonia and needed to live in a warmer, drier climate to fully recover. She spent the rest of her childhood there and received her education at the University of Adelaide, then graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1986 with a law degree. During her college years, Gillard was quite politically active.

Pursuing a legal career after graduation, Gillard became a solicitor at Slater & Gordon, focusing on industrial law. In 1990 she was made a partner, a position she held until 1996 when she began working as the chief of staff for John Brumby, who was then the leader of the Victorian opposition. In 1998 Gillard was elected to political office herself, as a member of the Australian Parliament.

In 2001 Gillard became the shadow minister for the Labor Party, a position she held in the opposition-controlled government until 2007. That year, the Labor Party's Rudd was elected in a landslide. Gillard served as his deputy prime minister, and also became head of the super-ministry of education, employment, and workplace relations.

Became Australian Prime Minister

By February of 2008, Rudd was the most popular prime minister in the history of Australia. Two years later, in the spring of 2010, however, Rudd was facing declining support from his party, his supporters, key trade unions, and Australia as a whole. His popularity fell substantially as he failed to deliver on campaign promises such as improving the economy, and reversed polices such as dumping the carbon tax he had introduced. He became the target of unsubstantiated corruption claims. After members of the Labor Party removed Rudd, Gillard was elected head of the party and took over as prime minister.

After taking office, Gillard focused her attention on running Australia, but she also had to prepare for national elections, which were expected to take place later in 2010. In polls conducted around the time of her ascent to prime minster, Labor was trailing behind the opposition. It marked the first time in four years that Labor had polled behind the opposition. Observers believed that she might benefit from her honeymoon period as head of state, but retaining office might be a challenge.

Personally, Gillard was in a long-term relationship with Tim Mathieson, a hair stylist. She has no children. She is pro-choice as well as an atheist, and has often been criticized for her unflattering hair style and fashion sense. Though many of her life choices have been fodder for the opposition, Gillard has remained focused on building a better Australia. The Toronto Star quoted her as saying, "I'm utterly committed to the service of this nation. I will lead a strong and responsible government that will take control of our future."

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