Australia finally has a female prime minister more than a century after women were first given the right to vote.

Julia Eileen Gillard, a coal miner’s daughter, has been passionate about politics since her days as a left-wing student activist at the University of Adelaide.

At the age of 18, she even declared to her mother Moira that she never wanted children – a vow she has kept to this day.

From her days as a student union leader, the redhead from Victoria has known how to fight, especially when it comes to the big boys of politics.

In parliament, she had no hesitation in referring to an opponent across the chamber as a mincing poodle, later taunting him about his tendency to squeal.

Gillard, Australia’s 27th prime minister, was sworn in by the country’s first female govenor general Quentin Bryce.

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