Australia Gets its First Female Prime Minister

julia-gillardJulia Gillard became the 27th and first female Prime Minister of Australia after predecessor Kevin Rudd stepped down when he saw that he no longer holds the majority support of his party.

On 23 June 2010, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Rudd’s chief of staff, Alister Jordan, had talked to over half the Labor membership to gauge the level of Rudd’s support within the party. His popularity dropped after a series of setbacks in his policies. Later that evening, he announced that a leadership ballot would take place between himself and his deputy Gillard the following day. At the meeting, Rudd saw that he had already lost the numbers and opted not to contest the leadership anymore. He stepped down as party leader and, effectively, the post of Prime Minister.

The new Prime Minister is 48 years old and was born in Barry, United Kingdom. Thus, she also became the first foreign-born Prime Minister since Billy Hughes, who led from 1915 to 1923

Gillard has previously assumed the role of a Prime Minister when Rudd attended a United Nations Client Change Conference in Bali. She is also the Minister for Education, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and the Minister for Social Inclusion.

Her deputy will be Wayne Swan.