The Hon Julia Gillard AC served as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia from 2010-2013. She previously served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion. Following her retirement from public life, Ms Gillard joined the Global Partnership for Education as chair of the Board of Directors in 2014. She is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. Ms Gillard supports several civic causes in Australia, including service on the board of Beyond Blue, which is committed to helping Australians understand and manage anxiety and depression.
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 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.