Julia Gillard

(b. 1961) Australian Labor stateswoman, Prime Minister since 2010

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Kevin Rudd (b. 1957) Australian Labor statesman, Prime Minister 2007–10


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(b. Barry, Glamorganshire, 29 Sept. 1961)

Australian; Leader, Australian Labor Party2010–, Prime Minister 2010– Gillard’s family emigrated from Wales to Australia in 1966 and settled in Adelaide. She attended university in Adelaide and Melbourne, studying arts and law, and in 1983 became the President of the Australian Union of Students. While a student she joined the Australian Labor Party (ALP), and after graduation she practised employment law in Melbourne. In 1998 she was elected to the federal House of Representatives for Lalor constituency in suburban Melbourne, the seat she still retains. She began her rise to prominence after the 2001 election, which the opposition ALP had failed to win. She became shadow minster for Population and Immigration (2001–03) and then shadow minister for Health (2003–06). When Rudd became leader of the ALP, Gillard became deputy leader, and, following Labor’s return to power in the 2007 elections, she became Deputy Prime Minister and the minister responsible for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and Social Inclusion. As Rudd’s support within the ALP declined in 2010, she played an important part in forcing his resignation, and, on 24 June 2010, she succeeded Rudd as Australia’s prime minister, becoming the first woman to hold the position. In a move to secure her hold on power, she called an early election for August 2010. Initially an increase the ALP majority was expected, but a strong campaign by the Liberal Party leader, Tony Abbott, resulted in a hung parliament. Gillard remained as a minority prime minister, her political authority weakened by the election outcome.

Subjects: Politics.

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