Julia Gillard, Chair

Julia Gillard is the 27th Prime Minister of Australia (2010-13) and Chair of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation which supports science to solve urgent health challenges. She transformed education and healthcare in Australia during her tenure.

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Julia’s career has been dedicated to improving access to quality education and healthcare, and empowering women to take up positions of leadership across all areas of society. She has written two books about women in leadership and a life in public service, as the first woman to serve as Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister in Australia. 

Born in Wales, Julia lived there as a child until her family moved to Adelaide, South Australia. She holds degrees in law and arts from the University of Melbourne. She qualified as a solicitor with global law firm Slater & Gordon where she focused on employment law, securing fairer treatment for workers. 

After six years as a partner within the law firm, Julia began a full-time political career as Chief of Staff to a former Premier of Victoria, Australia, where she created opportunities for women within the party to take up political positions. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1998 and she became Deputy Prime Minister in 2007. As Prime Minister of Australia from 2010-13, Julia delivered nation-changing policies, including the reform of education, emissions trading, and the provision and sustainability of healthcare. Mental health was a priority for her administration. 

Julia is Patron of the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED). She is the Inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London and Chair of Beyond Blue, a mental health charity in Australia. In 2017, she was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia for services to economic and social development in Australia. She was named one of BBC’s 100 Women in 2018. 

Julia hosts a podcast about the lives and stories of global leaders – both women and men – from business, media, sports and politics. Her memoir My Story was published in 2014 and in 2020, she published her second book, Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons, which she co-authored with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.