24 June 2010

New Prime Minister emigrated to Australia as a Ten Pound Pom

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Australia’s new Prime Minister Julia Gilliard, the first female Australian Prime Minister, has been sworn in after securing support to win the leadership from Kevin Rudd.

Emigrate to Australia

Australia's new Prime Minister emigrated to Australia with her family in the 1960s.

Gillard is also the first foreign-born Prime Minister since Billy Hughes, who served from 1915 to 1923, as her family emigrated to Australia in the 1960s.

Gillard was born in Barry, Wales, in 1961 to a family that hailed from the coal fields.

After suffering from bronchopneumonia as a child, her parents were advised it would aid her recovery to live in a warmer climate.

The family decided to emigrate to Australia in 1966 when Gillard was four, and took up the “Ten Pound Pom” fare which was part of an Australian immigration initiative to encourage British workers to emigrate.

The family settled in Adelaide, where Gillard went to school and later attended the Adelaide University to study arts and law.

After university, Gillard developed a distinguished career with the law firm Slater & Gordon before becoming Labour member for the outer western Melbourne seat of Lalor.

Gillard joined with Kevin Rudd to wrest Labour party leadership from Kim Beazley, and the partnership delivered the party a win at the 2007 election, ending 11 years of Liberal rule.

Ms Gillard became Deputy Prime Minister, a role in which she was seen as professional and competent, and a possible future prime minister.
Last night, a Labour leadership ballot was called for by Kevin Rudd after a challenge by Gillard. Rudd initially indicated he would challenge Gillard for leadership but resigned when it became clear he did not have the numbers to overcome Gillard in a leadership ballot.
Gillard was unanimously appointed as Labour Party Leader and later sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia.

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