Barry-born Julia Gillard became Deputy Prime Minister following Australia’s General Election on 24 November making her the most senior female politician in the 106 years since Australia became a nation.
Ms Gillard and her family emigrated from Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan in the 1960s as part of the ’ten pound pom’ scheme where the Australian government subsidised migration from Britain.
She made her name campaigning on platforms of workers’ rights and greater representation of women in politics.
Julia Gillard follows in the footsteps of another Welsh-born politician who went on to become Prime Minister of Australia. Billy Hughes became PM in 1915 and held office for three years after emigrating to Australia at the age of 19.
In his letter to Julia Gillard, the First Minister said:
Everyone in Wales was delighted with your success as the most senior Welsh-born Aussie politician in any government since Billy Hughes! I hope that an opportunity will arise before too long for you to visit the UK and Wales and to address the Assembly.
December 12, 2007