politics

Why Julie Bishop is the greatest Prime Minister the Liberal Party will never have.

This afternoon, Julie Bishop announced her retirement from federal parliament.

After months of speculation, the former Foreign Minister announced her decision after question time in Canberra.

“It is time for a new member to take my place,” she said.

When the next general election is called, the former deputy Liberal leader’s 20-year career in federal politics will come to a close.

Throughout Bishop’s decades-long career, she’s held numerous cabinet positions, including Minister for Women, Minister for Ageing and Minister for Education and Science.

She’s highly intelligent and quick-witted, she’s represented Australia on the world stage as Foreign Minister, and she held the Liberal’s deputy leader position for 11 years.

For many Australians, however, she’s considered as one of the best Prime Ministers the Liberal Party never had.

These are the moments and achievements we will remember Julie Bishop for.

Her commitment to MH17 victims.

Following the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over the Ukraine in 2014, Bishop played a major role in the international response to the incident which saw the loss of 38 Australians.

In her role as Foreign Minister, Bishop wasn’t afraid to take a strong stance, shaming Russia over its failure to cooperate with investigations into the devastating crash and confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin directly.

julie bishop resignation
Image: Getty.

She also stayed in close contact with the families of the victims of the incident, including the Maslin family, who lost their three children Otis, Mo and Evie.

"It was the most emotional moment of my life," she said.

Bishop's commitment to the victims of the crash earned her the award of the Commander of the Order of Merit of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Following Bishop's resignation, opposition leader Bill Shorten thanked Bishop for the way she fought for the families of the MH17 victims on the world stage.

"She really was a leader. But I also saw her steely determination in international forums to pursue justice and she was very strong," Shorten said.

"She did Australia proud that day and in those weeks."

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Her tireless work ethic.

Bishop is well known for being an incredibly hard worker.

Even Labor's Penny Wong, from the other side of politics, has praised her “tireless work ethic” and "exhausting travel schedule".

Australian journalist Peter Greste has also talked about all the quiet effort she put in to get him released from jail in Egypt.

Julie Bishop describes her typical morning routine on the Today Show. Post continues below...

Those infamous red heels.

When Julie Bishop held a press conference to talk about her resignation from Cabinet following Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's resignation (and her failed run to become leader), the media's camera pointed downwards.

Despite her announcement, all eyes were on one thing – her sparkly, red, Dorothy-esque Jimmy Choo shoes.

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The shoes in question. Image: AAP.

Of course, Bishop would have known that her shoes were going to get attention that day.

Since that day in August 2018, those red shoes have been seen as a symbol of female empowerment.

"Throughout history, people have been defined by what they wear," she said at the time.

"I decided to go for what I would consider a sensible pair of heels, or a comfortable working boot."

Bishop has since donated the infamous red shoes to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.

Her infamous death stare.

The Western Australian politician has an icy wide eye gaze which has seen all sorts of people be on the receiving end, including Karl Stefanovic.

The look became famous during a 2010 episode of Q&A, when Bishop gave someone this death stare which says "you did not just do that".

via GIPHY

The death stare soon became a long running joke during her time in politics.

Her handle on diplomacy.

From confronting Putin over the shooting down of MH17 to dealing with growing tensions with China and even Trump's America, Bishop has held a strong handle on diplomacy across all issues.

"She has earned, absolutely, the respect of foreign ministers around the world," Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said.

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