Serving in the government is one of the highest responsibilities in a functioning society, and a number of people have submitted themselves to serve as leaders of the people – Julie Bishop is one of such people. She has served in various levels from Parliament to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Her impressive public and political career is an inspiration to anyone, man or woman, who desires to one day, take the path of public leadership. Learn more about Julie Bishop by reading below.
In the present age of fourth wave feminism, it is nice to see several women who have overcome barriers and climbed to the highest levels of their career.
Julie Bishop was born on the 17th of July, 1956 in Lobethal, South Australia to Isabel Mary and Douglas Alan Bishop. Right since she was a child, Julie Bishop has always been a leader; despite being the third child of her parents, she always took leadership positions among her siblings and it stayed with her all through her formal education years; starting at the St Peter’s Collegiate Girls’ School where she was elected head prefect in her senior year. After finishing from St Peter’s, she moved to the University of Adelaide where she graduated with a degree in Law in 1978.
She proceeded and graduated from Law School and joined Wallmans, a law firm in Adelaide. Her trail-blazing career started at Wallmans where she became the first female articled clerk at the firm. She later left the firm for another – Mangan, Ey & Bishop, where she became a partner at the age of 26 in 1982.
Julie Bishop unwittingly became a public figure for the first time while she was a private citizen through a landmark case in the 1980s where she defended a corporate entity against a lawsuit brought by mining workers. The case was decided by the Supreme Court of Western Australia.
With her mother and grandfather being active members of her local government while she was growing up, it was only a matter of time till Julie Bishop left private practice for a career in the public sector, although she did get a final push from one of her lecturers, George C. Lodge, at Harvard Business School when she attended an eight weeks course in 1996.
Following in the path of her mother, she joined the Liberal Party in 1992. She was appointed a delegate of the 1998 National Constitutional Convention. In that very same year, she won the election to represent Curtin in the Australian Parliament, resuming office on October 3, 1998. She served as a member of parliament until 2003 when she was appointed to be the Minister for Ageing in 2003 and received subsequent promotions to Minister for Education and Science and Minister for Women all through to 2007 when the administration lost the election. Despite a short time at the helm of the Ministry of Education and Science, she brought substantial reforms to the education sector of Australia, including pay increases for teachers.
After the election loss in 2007 and her subsequent ousting, she became the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and later became the Shadow Treasurer in 2008. She was then appointed Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2009. When the 2013 elections came around, her party’s win at the polls elevated her to become the Minister for Foreign Affairs and she was named acting Prime Minister in 2014. She remained the Minister for Foreign Affairs till 2018.
Her service in government has earned her two national honours – Commander of the Order of Merit from the Netherlands and Mission Award for Leadership Excellence from the United States.
Partner – Is Julie Bishop Still Married?
Julie Bishop was married once to Neil Gillon, who was at the time a property developer. The marriage began in 1983 but eventually ended in 1988. Julie has remained unmarried since then and has no children. She has, however, been in public relationships with Ross Lightfoot, a Senator, and Peter Nattrass, a Mayor. She is currently believed to be in a relationship with David Panton, which started in 2014. David, like Neil, is also a property developer.
Years of serving in government, combined with a very successful private career that saw her become a partner in her law firm, she has been able to build a sizeable net worth of over $5 million. As foreign minister and a leader in her political party, she reportedly earns a yearly salary of $343,000 per year.