Julia Eileen Gillard AC is an Australian politician who served as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and Leader of the Labor Party from 2010 to 2013, the first and only woman to date to hold either role. She previously held the roles of Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Minister for Education, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Social Inclusion from 2007 to 2010.
Born in Barry, Wales, Gillard migrated with her family to Adelaide in South Australia in 1966. She attended Mitcham Demonstration School and Unley High School. Gillard went on to study at the University of Adelaide, but switched to the University of Melbourne in 1982, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1986 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1989. During this time, she was President of the Australian Union of Students from 1983 to 1984. In 1987, Gillard joined the law firm Slater & Gordon, eventually becoming a partner in 1990, specialising in industrial law. In 1996, she became Chief of Staff to John Brumby, the Leader of the Opposition in Victoria.
Gillard was first elected to the House of Representatives at the 1998 election for the seat of Lalor.