Julia Gillard on gay marriage: "I got on this tram at a different stop"

You may have heard (because we haven’t exactly been keeping it quiet) but we had a visit from former Prime Minister Julia Gillard this week.

Ms Gillard met all our staff, chatted with the interns, and hung around for some morning tea. But the main purpose of her visit was not to impress us with her chit-chat, but to talk politics, gender and life in general with our Editor In Chief, Jamila Rizvi.

Watch Julia and Jamila have a very real conversation about what that tumultuous time as the nation’s first female PM was like, and what happens next.

Jamila would like to declare that, yes, she worked for both the Rudd and Gillard governments in her Life Before Mamamia. 

The interview is brilliant, but it’s long. If you don’t have 40 minutes to sit down and take it all in, we’ve got the best quotes below — and a handy guide to exactly what time they appear in the video. So watch it all, or skip forward to the bit you can’t wait to see.

As promised, here are some of the things Julia and Jamila spoke about… And exactly where you can find them.

Julia Gillard’s best quotes:

1. On Kevin Rudd.

“I knew that he could be flash-point very angry – I knew he could be very difficult with people – but I thought that was all about the process of getting there”

To hear Julia talk about Kevin Rudd, skip forward 4.24.

2. On the day she was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia.

“I didn’t have this masterplan to become Prime Minister – and then, it’s all happened and you get sworn in and face your first question time – so on that day I didn’t have in place any of the preparations that you would normally make.”


To hear Julia speak about being sworn in as Prime Minister, go 10 minutes into the video.

3. On same-sex marriage.

“I am going to disappoint you.. Look, I got on this tram at a different stop.”

To hear Julia talk about gay marriage, go to 17.00.

Julia Gillard with Managing Ed Lucy Ormonde, Editor in Chief Jamila Rizvi and Editor Holly Wainwright.

4. On working with the independents.

“Their decision-making frame was always what’s good for the nation.”

To hear Julia talk about her working relationship with Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott head to 22.00.

5. On her favourite piece of education legislation.

“My favourite (policy) is always going to be making school funding needs-based, and what I can guarantee about that is that we are never going back.”

To hear Julia talk about education, fast-forward to 26.00

6. On women as leaders. 

“‘Well, she can’t be all that nice, she can’t be all that caring – she must have given up all of those things to have taken up this’.”

To hear Julia speak about the challenges that face female politicians, go to the 30 min mark

7. On her new life with Tim.

“Tim and I are currently living in Adelaide – and we did that because for this stage of my life a quieter community is a good option – and I wanted to be there for my family.”

To hear Julia speak about her life after politics head to 35.00

Scroll through for more photos of our favourite day at Mamamia Headquarters.

You can (and should) get Julia Gillard’s book “My Story” by Random House. You can read a free sample here.

This is what it’s all about:

‘I was prime minister for three years and three days. Three years and three days of resilience.Three years and three days of changing the nation.Three years and three days for you to judge.’

On Wednesday 23 June 2010, with the government in turmoil, Julia Gillard asked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for a leadership ballot.

The next day, Julia Gillard became Australia’s 27th prime minister, and our first female leader. Australia was alive to the historic possibilities. Here was a new approach for a new time.

It was to last three extraordinary years.

This is Julia Gillard’s chronicle of that turbulent time, a strikingly candid self-portrait of a political leader seeking to realise her ideals. It is her story of what it was like – in the face of government in-fighting and often hostile media – to manage a hung parliament, build a diverse and robust economy, create an equitable and world-class education system, ensure a dignified future for Australians with disabilities, all while attending to our international obligations and building strategic alliances for our future. This is a politician driven by a sense of purpose – from campus days with the Australian Union of Students, to a career in the law, to her often gritty, occasionally glittering rise up the ranks of the Australian Labor Party.

Refreshingly honest, peppered with a wry humour and personal insights, Julia Gillard does not shy away from her mistakes, admitting freely to errors, misjudgements, and policy failures as well as detailing her political successes. Here is an account of what was hidden behind the resilience and dignified courage Gillard showed as prime minister, her view of the vicious hate campaigns directed against her, and a reflection on what it means – and what it takes – to be a woman leader in contemporary politics.

Here, in her own words, Julia Gillard reveals what life was really like as Australia’s first female prime minister.