World calls for Gillard

<i>Illustration: Rocco Fazzari</i>

Illustration: Rocco Fazzari

You can take the girl out of Adelaide but, in Julia Gillard's case, you cannot take the Adelaide out of her.

Now, as she prepares for the next chapter in her life, Ms Gillard, at just 51, is feeling the call of family and home, and perhaps the lure of new opportunities. She will soon move back to the city of churches to be closer to her ageing mother, Moira, and her sister Alison.

Ms Gillard was a practising lawyer before beginning her 15-year political career, but while a return to the law is possible an international role is more likely.

As a former prime minister, she is entitled to an office, a small staff, 40 free domestic flights a year (with spouse), free home and mobile phones, a private car and other benefits.


Although initially reluctant on the international stage, Ms Gillard established herself as a sure hand in the councils of the world, notching up several foreign policy wins and building strong bonds with leaders such as US President Barack Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Ms Gillard once famously said she was happier in an Australian classroom than strutting the international stage. But she found a way of melding her role as stateswoman with advocating for women and girls around the world by including visits to schools and workplaces in her international itineraries.

It was a practice which resulted in her leading a class with President Obama at a Virginia high school in 2011, and this year spending an hour with high school students at a Beijing school.

Among the career possibilities open to a former PM is to join the lucrative corporate speaking circuit, and a possible book deal, with publishers likely to pay big money for the inside story of the country's first female prime minister.

Ms Gillard is now living in her Altona house in her Melbourne electorate of Lalor. Although she declined to provide any comment for this story, Fairfax Media understands that while the interstate shift is not imminent, she and partner Tim Mathieson are seeking a suitable home in South Australia and plan to move after the election.

Her father, John, died in late 2012 while she was at an Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation leaders' summit in Vladivostok, Russia. It was a loss she felt all the more keenly for being abroad.

At a staff party at The Lodge on the night she was replaced, Ms Gillard urged her supporters not to white-ant the new leadership, reportedly telling them ''shit happens'' in politics.

Last week she tweeted: ''Thanks to all who have sent notes and gifts. Deeply appreciated. Looking forward to time with family. Will see you all down the track. JG''.