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Julia Gillard: Women & Leadership

Julia Gillard in conversation with Jenny Brockie

In 2019 women are still vastly underrepresented in positions of power. When will girls and boys grow up in a world that truly offers them equal access to leadership?

What are the social and educational barriers holding women back from equality?

As Australia's first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard views questions about women and leadership from different perspectives, and is now building a Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London.

What are her insights on achieving real change?

When I was Prime Minister, the fashionable analysis by the media was that nothing about my experience was explained by gender. And to the extent that I ever pointed to gender, that was repudiated as ridiculous and starting a gender war.

Julia Gillard



This event was chaired by Jenny Brockie.

Photo credit: Prudence Upton

This conversation was presented in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Institute. 

Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard was the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and the first, and only, woman to serve in that role. Since leaving office, she has dedicated her time to advocacy, governance roles, and writing. 

In 2021, Julia was appointed Chair of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation based in the UK, which supports science to solve urgent worldwide health challenges. Julia is also the founder and inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College London and Chair of its sister Institute at the Australian National University. GIWL strives for a world where being a woman is neither a barrier to becoming a leader in any field, nor a contributor to negative perceptions of an individual’s leadership.

In 2014, Julia joined the Board of Beyond Blue, one of Australia’s foremost mental health awareness bodies, and has served as Chair since 2017. As a life-long advocate for increasing access to education, especially in developing nations, Julia was Chair of the Global Partnership of Education from 2014 to 2021.

Julia wrote My Story, a memoir based on her experience as Prime Minister.  Her second book, Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons, coauthored by Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, explores the challenges women face in leadership.

Jenny Brockie

Jenny Brockie

Jenny Brockie is one of Australia’s most respected and experienced journalists and broadcasters. She currently hosts the SBS program, Insight, where she leads a lively forum discussion on a single topic each week. Jenny’s extensive media career began at the ABC and spans television, online, radio and print. She has won a swag of media awards including the coveted Gold Walkley, two AFI Awards, a Logie, a Human Rights Award and three other Walkley Awards. She has also received eight United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Awards for her work on Insight.

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