Former Prime Minister Gillard's bust, is the latest addition to the Avenue of Prime Ministers at Ballarat's Botanic Gardens. Given her 26 predecessors are all male, Prime Minister Gillard's inclusion, marks a major turning point in Australian history. The new sculpture now serves as a permanent celebration and reminder of her term in office.
The bust was created by rubbery figures characaturist Peter Nichlson, who completed the sculpture in July 2012. Its belated unveiling coincides with former Prime Minister Gillard's autobiography 'My Story' launch tour.
Ms Gillard experienced unprecedented harassment on the basis of her gender whilst, in office. Her gallant mysogyny speech in response to such ongoing and overt sexism, prejudice and gender based bullying, continues to be viewed as an iconic rebuff to all she had to endure, serving as an inspiration to Australian women, who share her values ideals.
The Gillard government passed more legislation during its term, than any previous Australian government.
Prime Minister Gillard will be remembered for her grace under duress, her commitment to social justice and the dignity with which she executed her role, often under difficult circumstances given internal conflicts amongst her beloved Labour Party.
Being Australia's first female Prime Minister brought the depth of covert sexism that remains, sadly entrenched within Australia's culture to the surface. Ms Gillard has been recorded as stating that she hopes that she has paved the way for the next woman Prime Minister to have an easier term of office and not be subjected to the derogatory sexist undermining, that she experienced.
All photos above by Fiona Ludbrook.
(For dogs meeting Ms Gillard at the unveilling, visit petsandplants.com.au/blog)