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The prime ministership of Julia Gillard attracted an immense amount of media attention, not least because of the novelty of a female leader aspiring to embody the values and dreams of the Australian people. As opposition to her policies and style grew, Gillard as the government figurehead was at times subjected to extremist protests that used her gender as a weapon. Gillard’s prime ministership and perceptions of female power in contemporary Australia are issues explored in various chapters of The Gillard Governments, though not as extensively as its back-cover blurb would have us believe. The contributors to this edited volume are more interested in understanding the government’s policy development, administration and machinery of government than in the prime minister and her individual challenges.

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Published in May 2014 no. 361

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