Julia Gillard Promises To Be Non-Partisan As Hell In Her New BeyondBlue Gig

Julia Gillard has had quite the time since bowing out of politics in 2013. She’s hosted panel talks with Michelle Obama, become mates with Rihanna, and written a book about her turn as Australia‘s first female Prime Minister.

But apart from that, she’s mostly been quiet.

She pops up here and there to do her thing, but she hasn’t been a regular fixture in the headlines like, say, past Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd (RIP your United Nations gig), Tony Abbott (still sniping-not-sniping from the back bench), John Howard (the unofficial face of the pro-gun control movement), and Bob Hawke (beer).

Well, she’s back. Last week it was announced that she’d be replacing Jeff Kennett as the chair of BeyondBlue, which means her face + name will be popping up in all stories mental health-related.

However, she’s determined to be non-partisan about it.

In an op-ed published in Fairfax today, the former PM wrote:

“Until now, I have been content to go about the things I am doing quietly, with limited media exposure. Now that will change. I have deliberately embraced a chance to use my voice as a former prime minister to bring attention to a cause that affects millions of Australians and their families every day.

“But I am intending to do this without stepping back into partisan politics. Yes, you will hear me on the importance of people talking freely and frankly about mental health concerns in an environment without stigma or discrimination. And yes, you will hear me on what the evidence is telling us are the best ways of tackling anxiety, depression and suicide. What you won’t hear from me is biased critiques on the mental health policies of political parties.

“And I am most certainly not intending to fall for the one-last-question technique so beloved by journalists, the question that always starts, “while I’ve got you what is your comment on”, and then leads to the furious political debate of the day. To my friends in the media, don’t say you haven’t been warned!”

Hmmm. Rumbled.

Read her full piece here.
Photo: John Moore / Getty.