The conversations of life

Julia Gillard is back – for depression – as new chair of beyondblue


Australia’s first female PM has stepped in to do the heavy lifting, taking the baton from the former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, who created beyondblue 17 years ago.

Ms Gillard – who was elected unopposed by the board – is the first former PM to run a not-for-profit since Malcolm Fraser launched CARE Australia back in 1987. She says it’s a cause that’s close to her heart.

“My father was a psychiatric nurse so I grew up with an awareness of and commitment to mental health causes,” she said.

Flying under the radar

Ms Gillard has kept a low profile since leaving politics in 2013, serving as the chair of Global Partnerships for Education, patron of the Campaign for Female Education and on the boards of beyondblue and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

But unlike other former ministers who had their fair share to say about Australian politics, Ms Gillard has stayed firmly out of it. Why?

“I think there is a role for former PMs and former politicians in general to play, still contributing and still seeking to make a difference,” she told Fairfax Media earlier this year.

“But I’m a very big believer that you have got to let the current generation get on with it and be custodian of the day-to-day domestic political debates.”


Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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