Julie Bishop

Julie Isabel Bishop (born 17 July 1956) is an Australian politician. She is the 38th and current Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs since the swearing in of the Abbott Government on 18 September 2013. Bishop is the only woman in the current cabinet.

Bishop is the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, and is the party’s first female Deputy Leader and the third woman in Australian history to hold the title of Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

She has been a member of the Australian House of Representatives since 1998, representing the seat of Curtin in Western Australia. She was a minister in the Howard government until the defeat of the Liberal/National Coalition at the election held on 24 November 2007. Bishop is a republican.

Prior to entering Parliament, Bishop studied for a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Adelaide, and later on an Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, while she was managing partner of top Australian law firm, Clayton Utz.

Minister in the Howard Government

Bishop was appointed Minister for Ageing in 2003. She was later promoted to Minister for Education, Science and Training and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues in the cabinet reshuffle on 24 January 2006 and served in those positions until the defeat of the Coalition government at the federal election held on 24 November 2007.

Bishop’s education policies centred on the development of national education standards as well as performance-based pay for teachers. On 13 April 2007, the Australian State Governments expressed opposition to Bishop’s policies, notably those relating to performance pay. In the 2007 Budget, the Federal Government announced a $5b “endowment fund” for higher education, with an express goal of providing world-class tertiary institutions in Australia.

Some of Bishop’s comments, such as “the states have ideologically hijacked school syllabi and are wasting $180 million in unnecessary duplication”, have been criticised by teachers. An advance media kit for a recent speech claimed parts of the present curriculum came “straight from Chairman Mao”; however, the reference was dropped from her speech.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Bishop














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