|Julia Eileen Gillard|
|Date of birth||29 September 1961|
|Party||Australian Labor Party|
|From||23 June 2010|
|Labor Party leader|
|From||24 June 2010|
Julia Gillard is the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and parliamentary leader of the Australian Labor Party, having succeeded Kevin Rudd upon his resignation on June 24, 2010. She previously served as deputy prime minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations in Rudd's cabinet.
Gillard called a Federal election for 21st August 2010 to try and achieve a mandate in her own right. The election was much closer than expected and almost resulted in a hung parlaiment. After three weeks of negotiations she was able to form a government with a majority of 2 seats, making her the first elected female Australian Prime Minister.
Her government is formed in the House of Representative of the Parliament of Australia as a coalition of seventy-two members of the Australian Labour Party, one Green Party member and three independants (a total of 76 seats), while the opposition is a coalition of the Liberal Party of Australia (44 seats), Liberal-National Queensland (21), the National Party (7), one Country Liberal and one independant.
Professional training and public life
- Shadow Minister for Population and Immigration: 2001–2003
- Shadow Minister for Health: 2003–06
- Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 1 December 2006
then, in government, as:
- Deputy Prime Minister: 2007–10
- Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
- Prime Minister from 24 June 2010
2010 leadership grab
On 23 June 2010, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called a press conference announcing that a leadership ballot of the Australian Labor Party would occur on the morning of 24 June 2010, with the candidates being himself and Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard. This followed weeks of speculation that senior members of the ALP were beginning to lose confidence in Rudd and would back Gillard in replacing him if necessary. By the eve of the election, it was obvious that Rudd didn't have enough support to remain ALP leader and Prime Minister. After personal discussions between Gillard and Rudd later in the evening, Gillard returned with an ultimatum. After this late-night meeting, Rudd withdrew his candidacy and resigned as party leader, leaving Gillard to take the leadership unopposed. Gillard was then sworn in as Australia's 27th Prime Minister by Governor-General Quentin Bryce and became Australia's first female Prime Minister on 24 June 2010, with Treasurer Wayne Swan being appointed Deputy Prime Minister. This set the scene for fluctuating polling figures and a gradual decline in Gillard's relative popularity compared to both Rudd and the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.
2012 leadership battle
On 23 February 2012, she announced that she would declare vacant the position of party lerader at a meeting of the elected members on 27 February 2012, thus inviting other members to offer themselves for the office of Prime Minister. This followd the dramatic resignation earlier in the day (in Washingtom DC) by Kevin Rudd, who claimed that she was not backing him as Foreign Minister.
Gillard portrayed Rudd as “chaotic” and dysfunctional” as Prime Minister and implied that Rudd viewed the ballot process as "an episode of Celebrity Big Brother". Rudd called for "people power" to support his run for the prime ministership, and accused Gillard of betraying him in 2010, calling it a coup, and questioned Gillard's trustworthiness.
Gillard lives in the official residence of the Prime Minister, "The Lodge", with her partner, Tim Mathieson, a hairdresser by profession. They have lived together since 2006. She had previous relationships with several trade union officials and a fellow Federal Labor Member of Parliament. She has never married and has no children.
While Gillard was brought up in the Baptist tradition, she now professes to have not religious belief.
- By James Grubel, ABC Online News (23 June 2010). Australia PM Rudd calls leadership ballot. Abc.net.au. Retrieved on 28 December 2010.
- By online political correspondent Emma Rodgers (24 June 2010). Gillard ousts Rudd in Bloodless coup. Abc.net.au. Retrieved on 30 October 2010.
- Gillard and Rudd: How it came to this, ABC Online, 24 February 2012
- Julia Gillard calls leadership vote as Kevin Rudd states his case for a return as PM, Ben Packham and Lanai Vasek, The Australian, 24 February 2012
- February 24, 2012 9:23AM. Debate about leadership 'not an episode of Celebrity Big Brother', says Prime Minister. News.com.au. Retrieved on 2012-02-24.
- Australia leadership: Rudd and Gillard set for showdown. Bbc.co.uk (2010-06-24). Retrieved on 2012-02-24.