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Speaker(s): Julia Gillard, Dr Purna Sen
Chair: Dame Tessa Jowell

Recorded on 23 June 2015 at Old Theatre, Old Building

This event is part of the Above the Parapet project, which seeks to capture the experiences of high profile women who have shaped public life.

Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) was Prime Minister of Australia 2010-13 and the first woman to hold this position. She recently wrote My Story.

Julia Gillard started her Arts and Law degrees at the University of Adelaide. In 1983 she was elected national Education Vice-President of the Australian Union of Students (AUS) and moved to Melbourne to complete her degree at Melbourne University. Later that year, she was elected President of the AUS.

After graduating Ms Gillard began work as a solicitor in Melbourne with the law firm Slater and Gordon and became a Partner in 1990. Ms Gillard's work at the firm focused on employment law where she worked on securing fairer treatment for workers and fought for clothing trades outworkers who had been underpaid.

From 1996 to 1998 Ms Gillard served as Chief-of-Staff to the then Opposition Leader of the State of Victoria, John Brumby.

Julia Gillard first contested the Federal seat of Lalor for the Australian Labor Party in 1998 and was elected that year.

From 1998 to 2001 Ms Gillard served on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations. In 2001 Ms Gillard was appointed Shadow Minister for Population and Immigration and subsequently took on responsibilities for Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs in 2003.

From 2003 to 2006 Ms Gillard served as Shadow Minister for Health. On 4 December 2006 Ms Gillard was appointed Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party and served as Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Social Inclusion.

Following the Australian Labor Party's victory at the 2007 Federal Election, Ms Gillard was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion.

Purna Sen (@Purna_Sen) is Deputy Director of the IPA and leads on the Above the Parapet programme.

Tessa Jowell is Professor of Practice for LSE Cities and the Department of Government at LSE.

The Institute of Public Affairs (@LSEPubAffairs) is one of the world's leading centres of public policy. We aim to debate and address some of the major issues of our time, whether international or national, through our established teaching programmes, our research and our highly innovative public-engagement initiatives.

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