Julia Eileen Gillard (born 29 September 1961) is a former Australian politician who served as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia, and the Australian Labor Party leader from 2010 to 2013. She was the first woman to hold either position.

Gillard was born in Barry, Wales, and migrated with her family to Adelaide, South Australia, in 1966, attending Mitcham Demonstration School and Unley High School. In 1982, she moved to Melbourne, Victoria. She graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws in 1986. In 1987, Gillard joined the law firm Slater & Gordon, specialising in industrial law, before entering politics.

Gillard was elected at the 1998 federal election to the House of Representatives seat of Lalor, Victoria for the Australian Labor Party. Following the 2001 federal election, Gillard was elected to the shadow cabinet with the portfolios of Population and Immigration. The Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs and the Health portfolios were added in 2003. In December 2006, Kevin Rudd was elected Labor leader and Leader of the Opposition, with Gillard as deputy leader.

Gillard became the Deputy Prime Minister upon Labor’s victory in the 2007 federal election, also serving as Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. On 24 June 2010, after Rudd lost the support of his party and stood aside, Gillard became federal leader of the Australian Labor Party and thus the Prime Minister, the first female holder of the office.

The 2010 federal election saw the incumbent Gillard Labor government elected to a second term over the Tony Abbott-led Coalition opposition, forming a minority government with support of an Australian Greens MP and three independent MPs.

Julia Gillard has been an ALP member of the Australian House of Representatives since October 1998, representing the Division of Lalor, Victoria. She was elected unopposed as Deputy Leader on 4 December 2006. She also became the Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and the Shadow Minister for Social Inclusion on 10 December 2006.

Following Labor’s victory in the 2007 Federal Election, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that Gillard would serve as the Minister for Education, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and also the Minister for Social Inclusion. She is the first woman - and the first foreign-born person - to hold the position of Deputy Prime Minister.

Until 5 September 2008, when Quentin Bryce became Governor-General, she was the highest ranking Australian woman in the history of the Australian government. On 11 December 2007 she became the first woman in Australia’s history to be in the Prime Ministerial role, by assuming the role of Acting Prime Minister while Kevin Rudd attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.

  • Early life

Gillard was born in Barry, Wales. In 1966, she migrated to Australia with her family, settling in Adelaide.

Gillard attended Unley High School, graduating in 1978. She then attended the University of Adelaide but later moved to Melbourne. In 1986 she graduated from the University of Melbourne with arts and law degrees and, the following year, joined the law firm Slater & Gordon at Werribee, working in the area of industrial law. In 1990 she was admitted as one of their first female partners.

  • Political provenance

In 1983, Gillard became the second woman to lead the Australian Union of Students.

Gillard was formerly the secretary of the left wing organisation, the Socialist Forum.

From 1996 to 1998, Gillard served as Chief-of-Staff to Victorian Opposition Leader, John Brumby. She was responsible for drafting the affirmative action rules within the Labor Party in Victoria, setting the target of women being preselected in 35 percent of winnable seats within a decade. She also played a role in the foundation of “EMILY’s List”, the fund-raising and support network for Labor women.

  • Opposition Member

Gillard was elected as Member for Lalor to the House of Representatives at the 1998 election. Her first speech to the house was made on 11 November 1998.

  • Shadow Minister for Population and Immigration (2001–03)

After Labor’s defeat at the 2001 election, Gillard was elected to the Shadow Cabinet with the portfolio of Population and Immigration. In February 2003 she was given the additional portfolios of Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs.

In the wake of the Tampa affair and Children Overboard affairs, which were partly credited with Labor’s 2001 election loss, Gillard developed a new immigration policy for the Labor Party.

  • Shadow Minister for Health (2003–06)

Gillard was promoted to the position of Shadow Health Minister in July 2003. Shortly after this the government moved the then Workplace Relations Minister, Tony Abbott, into the health portfolio. The rivalry between Abbott and Gillard often attracted the attention from the media. Additionally, she gained responsibility for managing opposition business in the House of Representatives.

In the aftermath of the Labor loss at the October 2004 election, it was speculated that Gillard might challenge Jenny Macklin for the deputy leadership, but she did not do so.

Gillard has been touted as a potential future leader of the party for some years but, until 2005, she stayed out of leadership contests. After Latham resigned as leader in January 2005, however, she emerged as a possible successor along with Kim Beazley and Kevin Rudd.

After appearing on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Australian Story program in March 2006, an Ipsos Mackay poll in April 2006, conducted for the Ten Network’s Meet the Press program, found that respondents would prefer Gillard to be Labor leader. She polled 32% compared to Beazley’s 25% and Kevin Rudd‘s 18%.[12].

Although she had significant cross-factional support on 25 January 2005 she announced that she would not be contesting the leadership, allowing Beazley to be elected unopposed.

  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Julia Gillard at her first press conference as Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party, 4 December 2006, with new Leader Kevin Rudd. On 1 December 2006, in a cross factional political partnership with Kevin Rudd, Gillard launched a challenge for the deputy leadership of the ALP. Once Kevin Rudd was elected as leader the incumbent deputy leader and Kim Beazley’s deputy, Jenny Macklin, did not contest the challenge and on 4 December 2006 Gillard was elected unopposed. In the frontbench reshuffle following the leadership change Gillard was elected to take the Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio.

  • Deputy Prime Minister

The Labor Party won the 2007 federal election and on 3 December 2007 Gillard was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister. She is Australia’s first female and first foreign-born Deputy Prime Minister and also the highest ranked female politician in Australian history.

In addition to the Deputy Prime Ministership, Gillard was given responsibility for a so-called ‘Super Ministry’, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. However she has three distinct portfolios: Minister for Education; Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations; and Minister for Social Inclusion.

On 11 December 2007 she became the first woman in Australia’s history to be in the Prime Ministerial role, by assuming the role of Acting Prime Minister while Kevin Rudd attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali. In the first year of government, she served as Acting Prime Minister for 69 days during Rudd‘s overseas travel engagements.

Gillard is Labor’s best parliamentary performer.

  • Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Gillard removed WorkChoices, the industrial relations regime introduced by the Howard government, and replaced it with the Fair Work Bill. This established a single industrial relations bureaucracy called Fair Work Australia, which will play a far more interventionist role than the Howard Government’s Fair Pay Commission.

  • Personal life

Gillard‘s partner is hairdresser Tim Mathieson.

Gillard attended Unley High School, graduating in 1978. She then attended the University of Adelaide but later moved to Melbourne. In 1986, she graduated from the University of Melbourne with arts and law degrees and, the following year, joined the law firm Slater & Gordon at Werribee, working in the area of industrial law. In 1990, she was admitted as one of their first women partners.

Gillard‘s personal life, has been attacked by conservative politicians. In May 2007, Nationals senator Bill Heffernan labelled Gillard “deliberately barren” and unqualified for leadership because she had no children. He was widely criticised for his comments, including by members of his own Party, and issued an apology.

In a Bulletin interview published in January 2007 Gillard defended childlessness: “If Peter Costello genuinely thought about it, could he be the mother of three children, have been Treasurer for more than a decade and be the next in line to be prime minister? The frank answer is no.” Gillard said.

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Gillard

2009-05-31 Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard - Australian PM

Following in Howards footsteps

I saw Julia Gillard on the ABC a few minutes ago… Trying to justify the Federal Government of Australia‘s changes to the Youth Allowance (Independent) claim.

(Use a woman to do the hatchet job of cutting benefits for low income people. Isn’t that an old Howard trick?)

As a low income, unemployed, single, rural parent, of two teenage children. These new changes to Youth Allowance will hit us particularly hard.

My Daughter had ‘assumed’ (as did we all?..) that because she had tried particularly hard to achieve high marks in her final high school years.

Changing the rules

This would allow her to ‘follow the existing rules’ of being either employed or actively involved in furthering her education.

With many A’s and B’s only in her report cards over the years… At the age of 16 (still).. She chose to further her education. (Rightfully so)

Since she has such high marks in her schooling. She had determined to attend University as soon as she could. To the point that she is already doing year 12 subjects in her year 11. It seems a shame to squash her dream of attending University as soon as possible.

30 hours a week/18 Month Commitment

But these proposed amendments to the Youth Allowance legislation demand a 30 hour a week 18 month work commitment before she will be able to ‘prove’ her independence to this unfair Federal Government of Australia.

Whatever happened to the ALP? I was under the (mistaken?) impression that the ALP stood for blue colour workers. It seems to me that Un-employment should be a major concern to the ALP. That is, if they really tried to honour the commitment, of their supposed unchanged political platform.

Discrimination against low income rural people

These proposed changes reek of discrimination toward low income rural people. If my family lived in Adelaide, (Where the Universities are located..) It wouldn’t be a problem for my daughter to attend University. But living 4 1/2 hours from Adelaide, means my daughter will be financially forced to claim an Independent Youth Allowance, to attend University while she lives in Adelaide. Obviously if we lived in Adelaide. This wouldn’t be a problem at all. So by virtue of the fact that we live rurally. My daughters future is threatened.

Living Rurally, In an area that has such little employment options, living so far out of town (85klms round trip). Means that CentreLink have granted me an exemption from finding employment. I still have to fill out the relevant forms. But the requirement to comply has been reduced to 12 weekly intervals.

Make policies that help not hinder

Basically I feel that the Federal Government of Australia has no policies to cover people such as myself. With insufficient services and available options for employment out here.

I am personally waiting for the kids to finish high school and we will be slowly financially forced to move back to a city. (To live in a group house with my kids? Because who can afford city rent?)

While we wait for my son to finish high school. I guess my daughter will qualify by default for the same CentreLink exemption?

30 hour a week employment more difficult in rural areas

So instead of attending University, She may be at the beginning of the ‘long term rural’ unemployment line?

Grrrr… She is 16.. Gets A’s and B’s.. Wants to attend Uni… But the Rudd Federal Government of Australia have suddenly ‘CHANGED THE RULES’?… (This makes me so angry.. Bring that election early now Rudd!)

Because of these proposed changes to Youth Allowance. My daughter (and many other school leavers) will be under extreme pressure to waste 18 months trying to find and keep a 30 hour a week job, so that she can finally continue her dream of attending University.

Double Standards designed to FORCE kids OUT of school?

What if she cannot find employment in these times of rising uncertainty and high unemployment? Does the Federal Government of Australia expect my daughter to move to another location to find employment? However she isn’t allowed to be classed as ‘independent’ enough to attend University? So how can they expect a ‘dependant’ to be so ‘independent’ without providing sufficient financial support to accommodate the circumstance? Hmm… They cant have it both ways. (They shouldn’t even try to have it both ways.. Grrr)

In this case.. I hope my highly motivated daughter doesn’t just accept the CentreLink exemptions and sit back on her bum collecting what pittance the Federal Government of Australia allows to a ‘dependant’ Youth Allowance recipient.

But I fear the future with stupid short sighted laws like this coming out of Canberra.

Part of the problem is that those ‘stupid’ politicians still refuse to make allowances for people who live in Rural Australia when they make their laws. The ‘dummies’ do it nearly every time. They pretty well fail to represent the wishes of Rural people.

Likewise, in this case, I see that after years of abuse from the Howard Federal Government of Australia, low income single parents are copping the raw end of the deal.

Low Income safety net? Where?

But this time it’s our kids that have been singled out. Because to achieve these wonderful changes. The ‘safety net’ for low income rural parents is being basically wiped out.

Instead, Julia Gillard and the Federal Government of Australia, have managed to increase the support for people who don’t actually need it. Apparently the ‘ceiling’ has been lifted to $130k from $75K. So now because of this change. Families that earn $75K to $130K are now eligible. Where as they weren’t before. How much does this add to the welfare bill?

This is an ‘extension’ of Howards thinking.

Party Politics caused the whole mess!

Once upon a time children. Only the really needy qualified for Federal Government of Australia benefits. But politicians, being what they are. Perverted the system to accommodate the increasingly financially strapped middle class.

Howard would point an accusing finger at how much Social Security was costing the Federal Government of Australia. However if he hadn’t expanded the system to accommodate the middle class rather than the unemployed.

Family Tax A, Family Tax B, and we’ll make sure you repay it if ‘we’ overpay you. Under Howard we must ‘calculate’ the next 12 months of income to collect out new Family Tax A, and Family Tax B.

Howard's Bloated Social Security figures

All this new spin bloated social security. Cos now everyone with kids is getting a lot more cash than they ever have before. Of course the low income singe unemployed parent got much tighter rules to live by. But that’s a small price to pay. I mean the middle class got a few hundred more dollars to put in the bank.

Howard turned social security into a financial feeding frenzy for middle class Australians. With Family Tax A, Family Tax B, $600 baby bonus payments.

Find em Jobs? or Get some slave labour?.. (Choices.. Choices..)

Howards Work for the dole? Is just glorified ‘Slave labour’. Those jobs were always there. They always needed to employ people to fill them.

If the Federal Government of Australia hadn’t provided slave labour to the employers. They eventually would have had to really employ people to do those ‘needed’ jobs. To force the unemployed to ‘pick up papers’ rather than really employ one or three to do the job full time is honestly insulting.

If Howard had instead stuck to properly adjusted award wages. Rather than trying to appease the disgruntled masses with increased access to Federal Government of Australia benefits. I’m sure the ‘numbers’ the Government spin doctors (Politicians) sprouted out about the ‘cost’ of social security in Australia wouldn’t have seemed so high.

Didn't KRudd say that he was going to be fair?

The system hasn’t changed since Howard. In fact Kevin Rudd emulates Howards failures with only more low income stress on the horizon.

I think the thing that really annoys me about these proposed amendments are that its just the low income single parents in rural areas that actually ‘pay’ for this change. They are the only ones who have been singled out in this flawed proposition.

Take from the poor and give to the rich.

I thought Kevin Rudd was going to try and tax the rich rather than the poor this time? That was the spin we got told. Wasn’t it? What happened? I don’t see any difference in attitude toward low income parents than what Howard previously whipped us with.

No lightening of the draconian Howard social security laws. In fact.. Its a tightening? Sheesh. Drought.. High Unemployment. Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd want to reduce what little safety net is left?

Just so they don’t have to tax the rich more?

Lets scrap it.. (Smells like Dog Poo anyway..)

I think they need to scrap Howards whole ‘shitty’ system that they continue patching with band aids.

Scrap Family Tax A, and B. Go back to ‘Child Endowment’ and Let people claim the dole at 18 again. Sheesh Old enough to fight for your country at 18. Old enough therefore to drink in a pub of a country your fighting for I’d say. Obviously old enough to get a full dole.

Damn the cold hearted politicians (Howard) that changed a fair decent system into what we have today. Youth Allowance should just be for Kids in trouble at home. (whatever age.. let the social workers decide the required age and circumstances..)

Island Rental required. (Must have high paid tech job attached)

I tell you dear reader. If I owned the bat and ball they have been playing with. (Hang on a minute.. I do.. Im a taxpayer..) I feel like just grabbing my bat and ball and going home. (anyone have a cheap island spot away from Oz I can rent?) Because these political children just don’t know how to play nice at all..

Hold on... Something 'MUST' change.. (Where is Pauline Hanson again??)

And.. If your on Government Income and living Rural.. *sigh

I know what YOU’RE going through..

It is such a ‘Shame’ those idiots in Canberra failed yet again.

There is a march in Mt Gambier tonight (2009-05-31) at 5.00-5.30pm starting in the Woolworths car park.

The community will be marching the streets as a show of community solidarity against the Kevin Rudd, Federal Government of Australia‘s stupid new Youth Allowance laws.

Be there.. Or get trampled underfoot by our uncaring rich politicians again.

(I wonder if Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd will get the point?)

I don’t believe the Federal Government of Australia have worked for the Australian Public for a long, long time. (If ever..) I don’t expect Rudd and Gillard to act any differently.

Politicians have made too many laws that feather the caps of the the rich while making the poor pay the price.

Laws were originally invented to STOP the rich from doing whatever they want.

Unfortunately, in these sad times, the rich are the only ones who make our laws.

Don't ever forget the GST fiasco

What about Howard‘s GST? Don’t forget how it got in. Howard did a deal with the Democrat leader, Meg (may your name forever be cursed) Lees, and got his rip off GST passed. The Democrat leader resigned (or was booted for her role.. after Australia flooded her office with complaints and I dare say threats)

Nowadays we pay 10% tax on basic food items so the super rich can import a Ferarri cheaper?

That’s a fact… Luxury items used to be taxed at 21% until the good old 10% blanket cover GST come in. When a rich person saves $10K on the tax of a car or some other luxury item. The difference is paid by taxing food.

Poor people gotta eat. We don’t need a new car though.. Or the latest electronics… Funny how the price of the luxury items got cheaper for the rich to buy. But basic survival got harder for the poor.

And harder… and harder..

Show some bloody compassion.. (After Howard.. we deserve some..)

I knew Howard had no heart. But I really hoped there would be some balance when the ALP got in.

I guess we are all looking for another Pauline Hanson kinda person to wipe these complete idiots aside. (I personally dislike most of what Pauline Hanson says..)

Honestly.. Im sure the voting public are as sick of the whole rich political mess as I am.

The system really is totally corrupted.

Something needs to change.

Financial Crisis? Moral Crisis?

Is this the reason that the people have lost trust in the financial system?

Did we all figure out that like the Politicians, the Corporations only wanted to ‘shaft’ us.

Corporations like Politicians, rarely provide products that offer good value for money spent.

They constantly ‘Charge what the market can bare?’ and never ‘Charge a decent price for a decent product?’

(Like the Salary and bonus packages the executives negotiate with (stupid/corrupt) boards of directors?)

The extreme profiteering bred extreme corruption till no one trusted anyone any more.

Nowadays most products are overpriced and poorly manufactured. Maybe consumers just got sick of being ripped off?

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