Claire Duffy's blog about public speaking and communication (in real life). Speak well, do well!
Dealing with defeat – one of the hardest, saddest, and most challenging aspects of being in public life. Julia Gillard was her usual self: straightforward, businesslike, good humoured, down to earth, not a shred of self pity. It was a terrific speech, you can watch it here. The only teeny quaver in her voice was as she spoke of being the first woman PM:
“I want to just say a few remarks about being the first woman to serve in this position.
“There’s been a lot of analysis about the so-called gender wars . . . me playing the so-called gender card because heavens knows no-one noticed I was a woman until I raised it, but against that background, I do want to say about all of these issues, the reaction to being the first female Prime Minister does not explain everything about my Prime Ministership, nor does it explain nothing about my Prime Ministership.
“I’ve been a little bit bemused by those colleagues in the newspaper who have admitted that I have suffered more pressure as a result of my gender than other Prime Ministers in the past but then concluded that it had zero effect on my political position or the political position of the Labor Party.
“It doesn’t explain everything . . . it explains some things.
“And it is for the nation to think in a sophisticated way about those shades of grey. What I am absolutely confident of is it will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that – and I’m proud of that.”