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Julia Gillard – Education Activist

Julia Gillard served as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and was the leader of the Australian Labor Party from 2010-2013 prior to which she was Minister for Education. An active reformer, Gillard oversaw the governments “Building the Education Revolution” program, which allocated $16 billion to build new school accommodation including classrooms, libraries and assembly halls. As leader of the party Gillard stated “I will make education central to my economic agenda because of the role it plays in developing the skills that lead to rewarding and satisfying work – and that can build a high-productivity, high-participation economy.” Her government went on to extend tax cuts to parents to help pay for stationery, textbooks or computer equipment under the Australian Education Tax Refund scheme. In February 2014, Gillard was announced as chair of the Global Partnership for Education, an international organization focused on getting all children into school for a quality education in the world’s poorest countries.

 

I met Julia at last years WISE Summit and had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her inspirations for being an activist for education and how that translated into her achievements in office.

 

 


gbm-faceGraham Brown-Martin is the founder of Learning Without Frontiers (LWF), a global think tank that brought together renowned educators, technologists and creatives to share provocative and challenging ideas about the future of learning. He left LWF in 2013 to pursue new programmes and ideas to transform the way we learn, teach and live. His book, Learning {Re}imagined was recently published by Bloomsbury/WISE and is available now.