Julia Eileen Gillard

Julia Eileen Gillard (b.1961), a Victorian lawyer and Labor member of the House of Representatives since 1998, became Australiaís first female deputy prime minister in 2007 and Australia’s first female Prime Minister in 2010. Welsh-born Gillard was elected unopposed by Labor party members after Kevin Rudd withdrew from a leadership ballot. Gillard called a federal election after just three weeks in office. The election resulted in a hung parliament where both major parties were short of a majority for the first time since 1941. After the election, Gillard gained the support of three Independents and the Greens and was able to form a minority Labor government in Australia’s 43rd parliament. On 26 June 2013 the Australian Labor Party held a ballot in which Kevin Rudd defeated Julia Gillard by 57 votes to 45 to become the new leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. Mr Rudd was sworn in as Prime Minister for the second time by the Governor-General on 27 June. Julia Gillard honoured her commitment, made before the leadership ballot, to leave parliament by announcing that she would not contest the next election.

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Events

5 December 2007

First female Deputy Prime Minister

Following the federal election on 24 November, Julia Gillard is sworn in as Australia’s first female Deputy Prime Minister. She also holds the portfolios of Minister for Education, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, and Minister for Social Inclusion.

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Opposition deputy leader Julia Gillard.
24 June 2010

First female Prime Minister

Julia Gillard becomes Australia’s 27th prime minister, and the first female to hold the office, after she is elected in a ballot for the leadership of the Australian Labor Party. She replaces Kevin Rudd following his resignation. Rudd does not stand as a candidate, and Gillard is elected unopposed. She is sworn in on the same day by Australia’s first female Governor-General, Quentin Bryce. Gillard, a Welsh-born migrant, is the first Australian prime minister to be born overseas since Billy Hughes. She retains her position after the federal election of 21 August 2010 by forming a minority Labor government with the support of Independent and Greens members, producing Australia’s first hung parliament since 1940. On 26 June 2013 the Australian Labor Party held a ballot in which Kevin Rudd defeated Julia Gillard by 57 votes to 45 to become the new leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. Mr Rudd was sworn in as Prime Minister for the second time by the Governor-General on 27 June. Julia Gillard honoured her commitment, made before the leadership ballot, to leave parliament by announcing that she would not contest the next election.

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Australia’s first female Governor-General Quentin Bryce (R) after swearing in Julia Gillard (L) as Australia’s first female Prime Minister.