HON JULIA GILLARD AC
Julia Gillard's political journey started in the early 1980s at the University of Adelaide, where she was active in campaigns for better education, through the student union and the University of Adelaide's Labor Club. Following her graduation, Gillard began a career in the industrial law department at Slater & Gordon in Victoria; she later became a partner at the firm. In 1993, Gillard sought preselection for the first time in the federal seat of Melbourne.
In 1994, Joan Kirner AC and Carmen Lawrence led a campaign proposing that the Australian Labor Party adopt affirmative action rules for the selection of candidates. At this time, Gillard was the co-convenor of the Australian Labor Party's Affirmative Action Working Party and helped draft the changes to the party's rules. In 1996, she worked with others to establish EMILY's List Australia and continued the work of advocating for women in politics. In 1998, Gillard won the federal seat of Lalor in Melbourne's west with 70% of the votes, and in 2007, when the Australian Labor Party won the federal election, Gillard was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
In 2010, Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia, and Australia's first female leader. During her time as Prime Minister, she passed 570 bills, announced the Child Abuse Royal Commission and introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme, improved educational funding and an emissions trading scheme to combat climate change.
Julia Gillard has remained an active member of EMILY's List Australia following her time as Prime Minister (2010-13). Since 2017, she has supported the Julia Gillard Next Generation Internship, which provides opportunities for young women to become involved in EMILY's List and develop skills to enter politics.