Skip navigation

Australia’s Role in the Asian Century

Essays and Interviews
Julia Gillard

Brown Journal of World Affairs: During your premiership, you focused heavily on fighting climate change. How does the repeal of Australia’s carbon tax in summer 2014 affect Australia’s legacy of mitigating climate change?

Julia Gillard: From my perspective—having fought so hard for an emissions trading scheme for a price on carbon—it was disheartening to see them all repealed by the current government. It wasn’t a surprise that it was going to happen. They [the current government] ran very strongly against carbon pricing, despite the fact that their political party had in the past endorsed a price on carbon. But I’m philosophical enough to believe that part of Australian politics is that truly big reforms often take more than one attempt before they settle into the nation’s way of doing things."


Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th prime minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013. As prime minister and in her previous role as deputy prime minister, Ms. Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia’s economy, the 12th biggest in the world, during the 2007–08 global finan- cial 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.” Under Ms. Gillard’s leadership Australia was elected to serve on the United Nations Security Council.Ms. Gillard is a Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. She serves as an Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide and is Patron of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library in Perth, Western Australia. She is also a member of the board of directors of Beyond Blue, a nonprofit organization committed to helping Australians understand and manage anxiety and depression.