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Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Speak at Widener

Gillard led Australia through the global financial crises as prime minister and deputy prime minister.

Julia Gillard, former prime minister of Australia, will speak at Widener University at 1 p.m. Monday, October 20 in Lathem Hall at 13th and Potter Streets in Chester. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To reserve seating, call 610-499-4112 or e-mail

The first woman to ever serve as Australia’s prime minister, she held that role from 2010 to 2013. During that time, and in her previous role as deputy prime minister, Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia’s economy during the global financial crisis and as Australia positioned to seize the benefits of Asia’s rise. She developed Australia’s guiding policy paper, Australia in the Asian Century.

During her time in office, Gillard delivered nation-changing policies, including reforming Australia education at every level from early childhood to university education; creating an emissions trading scheme; improving the provision and sustainability of health care, aged care and dental care; commencing the nation’s first-ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities; and restructuring the telecommunications sector and building a national broadband network.

In foreign policy, Gillard strengthened Australia’s alliance with the United States, secured stronger architecture for the relationship with China, upgraded Australia’s ties with India, and deepened ties with Japan, Indonesia and South Korea. Under Gillard’s leadership, Australia was elected to the United National Security Council.

In addition to being the first woman to serve as Australia’s prime minister, she was the first to serve as deputy prime minister and Australian Labor Party leader. She was the second woman to lead the Australian Union of Students. In October 2012, she received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life.

Gillard’s appearance at Widener will be in advance of her sold-out evening appearance as part of the Philadelphia Speakers Series presented by Widener at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Now in its 11th sold-out season, the Philadelphia Speakers Series offers annual subscribers the opportunity to spend an evening with Pulitzer and Nobel Peace Prize winners, world leaders, statesmen, distinguished journalists, authors and other celebrated personalities. For more information about the Philadelphia Speakers Series and the lineup of speakers for the 2014-15 season, visit

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,000 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free university. Visit the university’s website,