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Gillard, Julia (Australia)

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Introduction

Julia Gillard became prime minister in June 2010 when she successfully challenged incumbent Kevin Rudd for the leadership of the ruling Australian Labor Party. Considered a left-of-centre consensus politician, she has chiefly focused on domestic issues. After Labor’s weakened showing at elections in Aug. 2010, she agreed an alliance with Green and independent MPs to give herself a working majority of one seat.

Early Life

Julia Gillard was born in Barry, Wales on 29 Sept. 1961 and moved to Adelaide, Australia with her family in 1965. Educated at Mitcham Demonstration School and Unley High School, she went to Adelaide University in 1981 to study arts and law. While there she campaigned with the Labor Party against federal education budget cuts. She became vice president of the Australian Union of Students (AUS) in 1982, necessitating a move to Melbourne University where the AUS was based. In 1984 she was voted AUS president.

After graduating in 1986 she worked as a solicitor...

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