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In Conversation with…Julia Gillard

7 July 2015

Julia Gillard

Former Australian Prime Minister talks premiership and politics

The University's Wales Governance Centre has hosted former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard as part of the 'In Conversation with…' events, run in partnership with The Open University in Wales.

Director of The Open University in Wales, Rob Humphreys, was 'In Conversation with…' The Hon. Julia Gillard, who was Prime Minister of Australia and Australian Labour Party leader from 2010 to 2013.  Ms Gillard was the first woman to hold either position.

Born in South Wales Julia Gillard immigrated to Australia with her family when she was four. During the interview she reflected on her heritage by emphasising the importance of her family's Welsh values in her upbringing. She spoke of the influence that Joan Kirner, first female Premier of the State of Victoria, had on her political views and talked about her passion for a more equal education system that sparked her interest in politics.

Ms Gillard described the challenging political climate in the run up to her becoming Prime Minister in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, and reflected on the subsequent obstacles of leading a collation government alongside internal leadership challenges.

Highlighting her work on education and gender equality during her time as Prime Minister, Ms Gillard also gave an account of the circumstances that led her to give her famous Misogyny speech in 2012.

The interview lasted for an hour and was followed by questions from the audience of more than 70 guests.

The event is the latest in a series of events held jointly by The Open University in Wales and the University's Wales Governance Centre.