11 of the most cracking quotes from Julia Gillard's first interview.


Julia Gillard appeared this evening on live television for her first Australian interview since leaving the Prime Ministership. In a heartfelt, honest and warm conversation with Anne Summers, Gillard talked about her time in public office and what the future has in store for her.

Gillard is an eloquent speaker. Often humourous and bubbly. Always witty and wise.

Here are 11 of the most cracking quotes from the evening.

Julia Gillard in conversation with Anne Summers.
Julia Gillard in conversation with Anne Summers.

1. On how she chose to conduct herself immediately after losing the Prime Ministership: 

Gillard thought it best to “give a gift of silence to the Labor party throughout the course of the campaign; to do absolutely nothing”.

2. On the key difference between herself and Kevin Rudd:

“I think the key difference is every day I was deputy prime minister I spent all of my time doing everything I could to have the Labor government prosper.”

3. On seeing sexist and offensive cartoons and statements about herself on social media:

She felt not sadness or hurt but, “more like murderous rage really”.

“For my personal liberty, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t focus on them… At the end of the day, yes, it happened to me, but it’s not, you know, about me. It’s about all of us, about women and about the kind of society we want to be for all of us.”

julia gillard in conversation with anne summers
The view of the audience from where Julia Gillard and Anne Summers sit in the Sydney Opera House.

4. On playing the so-called ‘gender card’:

“It just amazes me that we can be having this infantile conversation about gender wars, and … you just feel like saying: ‘Well, if it was your daughter and she was putting up with sexist abuse at work, what would you advise her to do?’” Gillard said.

“Because apparently if she complains, she is playing the victim, and playing gender wars, and if she doesn’t complain, then she really is a victim.”

5. On what an average day was like in her job as Prime Minister:

Gillard would go through the papers in the morning, remaking most days to her Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan: “Polls are crap. Papers are crap. Yep, yes they are, Wayne.”

6. On what advice she would give to new Prime Minister Tony Abbott:

“It is a big step from criticising what you think is wrong to working out and implementing what you think is right. On current indications, Prime Minister Abbott is intending to take that step slowly. And for all of us, I think that might well be a good thing.”

7. On whether she would like to see Hillary Clinton run for the American Presidency in 2016:

“Wouldn’t it be fantastic to follow the first African American president, with the first woman president?”

julia gillard in conversation with anne summers
Julia Gillard waves goodbye to the audience.

8. On what advice she would give Tony Abbott now that’s he’s brought the women’s portfolio within his own Government department.

“Ask Tanya [Plibersek].”

9. On how she managed to stay motivated in the face of “horrible sexism”:

Gillard first responded to the question, asked by an 11-year-old girl, cautioning: “I now need to answer [the question] not using words that are inappropriate… How old are you again?”

She continued, “In moments of some, you know, stress and pressure, for example, when I was getting myself together to go out and give my final speech as Prime Minister, I certainly did say to myself that I wouldn’t give those people the satisfaction of seeing me shed a tear – I wouldn’t do that.”

10. On whether she would encourage women to think about pursuing politics:

If she could go back and advise another woman in her own position – about to be the nation’s first female PM – Gillard said she “…would still say to her: do it. Because the benefits of what you get to do are far superior to the burdens”

11. On what it will be like for Australia’s next female Prime Minister:

“I think even people who may not remember me as a good PM, I think for whoever the next woman is, there will be a bit of a pause, breathe, whatever else this female Prime Minister does, we don’t want it to be like that for her again.”

julia gillard
This beautiful photo was taken by 12-year-old Sophie Deane, and published on Julia Gllard’s Facebook page.

What did you think were the highlights of the interview between Julia Gillard and Anne Summers? Any stand-out quotes or ideas? 

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