In 2010, Julia Gillard was sworn into office as Australia’s first female prime minister. During her three-year term, she legislated landmark reforms on education, carbon pricing, disability care, health and aged care, and broadband, and led Australian foreign policy interests. Ms. Gillard was also central to the successful management of Australia’s economy—the 12th biggest economy in the world—during the global financial crisis and in the development of Australia’s guiding policy paper, “Australia in the Asian Century,” which positioned Australia to seize the benefits of Asia’s economic rise. In October 2012, Ms. Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life. In her new book, titled My Story, Julia Gillard recounts the political successes and failures that shaped her term and what it takes to be a woman leader in contemporary politics.
On October 27, the Center for Universal Education and the Governance Studies program at Brookings co-hosted a discussion with Julia Gillard on the launch of her new book. The event provided a glimpse of her time in office with the opportunity to learn first-hand about the experiences. Brookings Senior Fellow Thomas Mann provided introductory remarks. The discussion was moderated by Brookings Senior Fellow E.J. Dionne.