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Julia Gillard ousted: Achievement does not equal respect if you’re a woman

Julia Gillard navigated through the financial crisis, presided over a 14 per cent growth in the economy and pushed through several impressive policy reforms. The problem for the Australian PM was not her performance. It was that, from to beginning to end, she remained female, says Australian writer Van Badham



The reality is far different. After her rolling of Rudd, Gillard nudged to power in minority government after a disastrous election result for both Australia’s major parties in 2010. It was Gillard, not her opponent, the conservative Tony Abbott, who managed to win the support of what looked like an impossible coalition of four crossbenchers – a Green, and independent progressive and two independent conservatives.

Despite a minority government, her leadership and willingness to negotiate led to her passing a record amount of legislation for a post-war Australian Prime Minister.

This included:

  • Australia’s first National Disability Insurance Scheme, of direct benefit to the 500,000 Australians living with disability
  • Introduction of carbon pricing and an Emissions Trading Scheme which has reduced carbon emissions in Australia      between 8-11 percent
  • Overseeing the Gonski review for the revolutionary overhaul of the entire primary and secondary education sector
  • Seeing that Australia take up a seat on the UN security for the first time
  • Instituted life-changing policies for improvements in indigenous literacy
  • Overseeing a national broadband network of high-speed internet is nation-building infrastructure.

Economically, her government maintained a commitment to Keynesian policy, unswayed by popular Ayatollahs of faulty spreadsheet economics that have impoverished other developed nations. Australia was the only developed economy to survive the global financial crisis, and under Gillard’s leadership the economy grew by 14pc.

It must beggar belief in other developed nations to see a leader who has delivered low unemployment, low interest rates, low inflation, three triple-A credit ratings and the third-lowest rate of debt in the OECD shafted so brutally.