Education is Ms. Gillard’s passion. She established Australia’s first national curriculum and ensured significant investment in school buildings, reformed Australia’s education at every level with a special focus on disadvantaged children, and delivered new standards to improve the quality and access to early childhood education.
Alongside all of this, Ms. Gillard developed a needs-based funding system for every school and ensured that funding was tied to a quality improvement agenda of better teaching, individual learning plans, and parental engagement. Before becoming Prime Minister, Ms. Gillard was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Gillard served as Shadow Minister for Health followed in 2006 by an appointment as Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Social Inclusion. In 2003, Ms. Gillard took on responsibilities for Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs and in 2001 Ms. Gillard was appointed Shadow Minister for Population and Immigration. Previously, from 1998 to 2000, Ms. Gillard was a member of the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations.