Published by the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra

Research and Stories through a Gendered Lens

BroadTalk with Julia Gillard

Dec 17, 2020 | News, Feature

What is it about Julia Gillard? As Australia’s first female Prime Minister she was both loved and loathed. Once the nation’s most taunted political figure, she also captured more hearts and shaped more female ambition than possibly any other woman in Australian history.

So, what has her rollercoaster ride taught us about how turbulent the world really is for women? And what has the chaos of 2020 and an enforced period of reflection taught her while she bunkered down in her Adelaide home?

In this special episode of BroadTalk, ahead of Series 2 in 2021, Julia and I do quite a bit of reflecting. Something that she once said she was not prone to do. But she’s wrong. Her book ‘Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons’, released in August 2020, could be read as an ode to the power of self reflection.

Virginia Haussegger with Julia Gillard, outside the National Press Club, 4 May 2005, at the launch of ‘Wonder Women: the myth of ‘having it all’ (A&U)

The status and power of women has shifted significantly since I first sat down to interview Julia Gillard over a decade and a half ago. Back then our first discussion was focused on women’s choices around fertility and the choice to be childless. She later very graciously launched my book on the subject at the National Press Club in 2005. At that time, Julia was a self described “active and analytical feminist”, but as she now says in 2020 she was “not a sensitive one.”

Propelled by energetic ambition, as her own star was rising, Julia was clearly keen to see more women in leadership, but didn’t necessarily see her role as the woman to help ensure they got there. She is very frank and typically honest about this in her book, which underscores the power of her years of reflection, when she admits, “I didn’t really think about what would shift” when more women were at the leadership and decision making table. Fast forward to 2020 and she now doesn’t stop thinking about it!

Gillard founded the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership in 2018, at Kings College London. She has traversed continents ever since as a sell-out speaker and global leader, energising packed audiences  with her passion for women and girls education, leadership and empowerment. She’s fated like a rock star at many of those events and is enthusiastically welcomed by leaders around the world.

Despite the relentless battering she received from mainstream media and misogynist colleagues, not to mention a foul army of people led by mantras to “ditch the witch” and “bury the bitch”, Julia Gillard has gone on to become Australia’s most successful post-PM global states-person. When it comes to gracious service and selflessness, she is certainly the most inspiring!

Click here for BroadTalk with Julia Gillard.

BroadTalk Seres 2, ‘Gender Equality: Are We There Yet?”  launches late January 2021. Subscribe to BroadTalk wherever you get your podcasts, so you don’t miss the next bevy of fascinating national and global thinkers and leaders. Join the BroadTalk facebook group BroadTalk RoundTable and tell us what you think and who you would like to see featured on BroadTalk. 

Highlighted article

Other highlighted articles

They called her “Lucky”. But she wasn’t.

They called her “Lucky”. But she wasn’t.

Over summer, BroadAgenda is republishing some of its most popular articles. This compelling piece was first posted earlier this year. Content notification: This story discusses family violence, coercive control, reproductive coercion and financial abuse I first heard...

Endometriosis becomes a matter of State

Endometriosis becomes a matter of State

Earlier this month French president Emmanuel Macron made a national address that stopped people in their tracks. The topic? Endometriosis. Kelly Saunders, a PhD student with the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, shares her compelling and personal reflections about why this...

Why ‘And Just Like That’ fails older women

Why ‘And Just Like That’ fails older women

If you’re after escapist TV this summer you won’t find it in the Sex and the City reboot …And Just Like That. Each week I tune in hoping for a glamourous date with Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte but leave deflated and increasingly cross. I can’t help but wonder … have...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This