Today is the much anticipated (well for me and a few other people at least!) release date of the memoir by our previous Prime Minister, Julia Gillard – My Story.
I have been very much looking forward to getting my hands on this book since the news was announced last year that Ms Gillard would be writing it. I am looking forward to reading about the tumultuous time of her leadership from her perspective. I am looking forward to reading her words and, as the title clearly indicates, her story. A story, I think, has been somewhat missing until now.
I was one of the lucky few to hear Julia Gillard in conversation with Anne Summers last year at the Sydney Opera House. The woman I listened to there seemed so far away from the often stilted Prime Minister I had observed from my lounge room. I heard a confidant, relaxed, albeit somewhat broken, honest woman. I was enthralled by her and what she had to say about her experiences during her time as Prime Minister. I will be hearing her speak again when she comes to Newcastle as part of her book tour this November.
But in the meantime I have her book. There are a lot of comments about “the truth” and that by telling her own story Ms Gillard will finally “reveal the truth”. But this is not what this book is about for me. The truth is a variable, subjective entity in so many ways. My truth may not be the same as yours.
What I do hope to read is the story of a woman who dared to stand up and be a leader in a time of crisis – and who stuck around when the going got much tougher. I hope to read about strength, determination and resilience. I hope to read about fear, regret and hope. I hope to read the words of a woman talking about herself and for herself.
Do I agree with every political decision made by Julia Gillard? Of course I don’t. Do I believe that she has set a course for potential female politicians and community leaders in this country – I truly do. As Julia Gillard’s words on her publisher’s website say;
Many women and men still come up to me and ask me to sign something for their daughters, to inspire them to achieve in a world where true equality still eludes us. As I wrote MY STORY, I thought of our nation’s daughters and tried to provide some specific insights about women and leadership.
What a legacy to leave.
How about you – will you be reading Julia Gillard’s story?