I was first sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia on 24 June 2010.
I was born in Barry, Wales in 1961. My father worked as a psychiatric nurse and my mother was a cook in an aged care home. My parents brought us to Australia in 1966 to give us a better life and I grew up in Adelaide. I attended Mitcham Demonstration School and Unley High School in South Australia where I was a school prefect and a keen debater. During high school I took on my first job, it was peeling vegetables and serving meals in the aged care home where my mum worked.
I started my arts and law degree at the University of Adelaide and became involved in a campaign against education funding cuts. In 1983 I was elected National Education Vice-President of the Australian Union of Students (AUS) and moved to Melbourne to complete my degree at Melbourne University. Later that year, I was elected President of the AUS. I joined the Carlton Branch of ALP while studying at university and served as its President.
After graduating I began work as a solicitor in Melbourne with the law firm Slater and Gordon and became a partner in 1990. My work at the firm focused on employment law. I worked on securing fairer treatment for workers and fought for clothing trades outworkers who had been underpaid.
From 1996 to 1998, I served as Chief-of-Staff to the then Opposition Leader of the State of Victoria, John Brumby.
I first contested the Federal seat of Lalor for the Australian Labor Party in 1998 and was elected that year.
From 1998 to 2001, I served on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations.
In 2001, I was appointed Shadow Minister for Population and Immigration and subsequently took on responsibilities for Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs in 2003. From 2003 to 2006, I was Shadow Minister for Health. On 4 December 2006, I became Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party and served as Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Social Inclusion.
Labor’s victory at the 2007 election was one of the proudest moments of my life. We fought this election knowing Australians deserved better and I am determined to continue to move Australia forward. Following our victory I was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education; Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion before becoming Prime Minister.
I live my partner Tim Mathieson at The Lodge in Canberra. We met at a hairdressing salon in Fitzroy where we would often talk about politics.