50 People Who Matter 2010 | 47. Julia Gillard
First lady of Oz.
As Australia's first female prime minister, Julia Gillard has inspired many. But while it was a rapid ascent - the former deputy leader of the Labor Party ousted the incumbent prime minister, Kevin Rudd, and was narrowly elected within the space of three months - challenges lie ahead.
Now leading a fragile coalition with a majority of one, she has unpopular legislation on reducing CO2 emissions to push through. Environmental legislation is a high priority for Australia, which needs to diversify its economy to move beyond its role as China's "coal pit".
Gillard will have to lead the way with cunning and care.
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