About The Speaker
Hon. Julia Gillard AC
The first female Prime Minister of Australia JULIA GILLARD is a leading voice on gender equality and female leadership around the world, and has written a new book Women and Leadership which serves as a road map for women seeking leadership roles but who might hesitate about what it means for them and their lives. Gillard interviews and draws out the first person accounts of other powerful female leaders including Jacinda Ardern, Hillary Clinton, Theresa May and Christine Lagarde to share their experiences getting access to leadership, the perceptions of them as leaders, and the trajectory of their leadership.
Hon Julia Gillard AC
27th Prime Minister of Australia
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 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 advancing 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.
Prime Minister Gillard in 2012 established the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses To Child Sexual Abuse, which issued its landmark report on these crucial societal issues in November 2017.
Ms. Gillard is the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister. In October 2012, Ms. Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life.
Ms. Gillard is a non-resident Distinguished Senior Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington. In February 2014, Ms. Gillard was appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education, the only multilateral organization dedicated to expanding access to quality education in developing countries. Ms. Gillard also serves as Patron of Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education, which tackles poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change.
In July 2017, Ms. Gillard became Chair of the Board of Directors of Beyond Blue, which is committed to helping Australians understand and manage their mental health. She was recently appointed as the Chair of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation which supports science to solve urgent health challenges.
In April 2018, Ms. Gillard was appointed Inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College, London. Through research, practice and advocacy, the Institute will address women’s underrepresentation in leadership positions and the way gender negatively impacts the valuation of women leaders.
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.
In recognition of her public service, Ms. Gillard was awarded a Companion in the Order of Australia in January 2017.
Ms. Gillard’s memoir, My Story, was published by Random House in September 2014. The second edition of her book was published in July 2015. Her second book Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons which is co-authored by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was released in 2020.