eastern healPROFILE-Australias Prime Minister Julia Gillard

— After being elected to parliament in 1998, Gillardquickly rose to become a leading light of the Labor left,appointed shadow minister for population and immigration in 2001and shadow health minister in 2003. She became deputy Laborleader in 2006.

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— She was appointed deputy prime minister in 2007 whenLabor took power and became minister for education, labor andsocial inclusion. She toppled then-prime minister Kevin Rudd onJune 24, 2010 in a Labor party coup.

(Reporting by Michael Perry; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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tweety1 wrote: Julia Gillard is a very shrewd rabid socialist an early member of the Communist Party.

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— Gillard is known as a strong negotiator with an abilityto consider alternative views and draw rivals into agreement.She ended a politically damaging row with global miners, BHPBilliton , Rio Tinto and Xstrata , withindays of being appointed prime minister by agreeing to water downa new resource tax.

eastern healPROFILE-Australias Prime Minister Julia Gillard,Rio Tinto Ltd: Business description, financial summary, 3yr and interim financials, key statistics/ratios and historical ratio analysis.

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— A quick-witted politician, with a broad Australian accentand a working-class pedigree, Gillard is in many ways anold-school Labor politician, more reminiscent of Labor primeministers from the 80s and 90s.

— Gillard arrived in Australia, aged four, in the 1960sfrom south Wales, a cradle of Britains own Labour movement.Late British Labour politician Nye Bevan, son of a Welsh coalminer and who as health minister led the establishment of theNational Health Service, remains one of her political heroes.

— Gillard is Australias first female prime minister.Altheastern healPROFILE-Australias Prime Minister Julia Gillardough her early political career was forged by Labors leftwing, her ascendancy to prime minister was the result ofright-wing powerbrokers in the party. She is regarded as aneconomic conservative and has promised to return the budget tosurplus by 2012-13.

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Term: Elected by Labor party. Government usually serves athree-year term but can call an election any time.

— In 1987, Gillard joined law firm Slater & Gordon, whichspecializes in class actions and personal injury cases. Shebecame a partner at age 29 in 1990 and a political adviser inthe late 1990s. She also helped promote women in politics.

— She graduated with a law degree in 1986 from theUniversity of Melbourne, then became involved in politics viathe Labor Club at the University of Adelaide and led theAustralian Union of Students at Melbourne University.

— Massive flooding across the eastern seaboard in Januaryhas handed Gillard a dreadful start to 2011, with her one-seatminority government under intense political pressure over itsbudget and a flood rebuilding tax.

Key Facts:

Incumbent: Julia Gillard, 49

Position: Prime Minister of Australia

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