Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to speak TODAY at Spring Convocation

Gillard will deliver the university's annual Baird Lecture during Spring Convocation at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, in Alumni Gym.


Elon’s Spring Convocation and Baird Lecture on April 4 will feature Julia Gillard, the former prime minister of Australia, will be the featured speaker at Elon’s Spring Convocation on Thursday, April 4. 

Gillard, who served as prime minister from 2010 until 2013, will share her insights into geopolitics and the global economy in a talk titled “Engagement in the Asian Century: The Opportunity of Our Lifetime.” Her talk is part of the university’s Baird Lecture Series, which was made possible in 2001 with an endowed gift from James H. and the late Jane M. Baird of Burlington, N.C. 

Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office for $15 or free with an Elon ID. For information, call (336) 278-5610. 

As prime minister and earlier as deputy prime minister, Gillard was central to managing the Australian economy, the 12 largest in the world, during the global financial crisis and in 2012 generated worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life. During her tenure leading Australia, she developed the country’s guiding policy paper, “Australia in the Asian Century,” and delivered nation-changing policies including reforming the country’s educational system from early childhood to university.

Gillard played key roles in improving the delivery and sustainability of health care in Australia, creating a national system to care for people with disabilities, restructuring the telecommunications sector and building a national broadband network. She deepened ties with Australia’s Asian and Pacific neighbors while strengthening the country’s alliance with the United States.

Born in Barry, Wales, Gillard migrated to Australia with her family in 1966 and became an Australian citizen in 1974. Prior to being sworn in as prime minister, she served as deputy prime minister and minister for education, employment and workplace relations, and social inclusion.

She has been a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institute since 2013 and in 2014 was appointed board chair for the Global Partnership for Education. She published “My Story,” a book about her service as prime minister, in 2014.