Julie Bishop (Julie Isabel Bishop) was born on 17 July 1956 in the Adelaide Hills, her family home was an apple and cherry orchard. She studied law at the University of Adelaide. By the age of 30 she had moved to Perth and was an established lawyer. She became managing partner in 1994 at the law firm Clayton Utz. Four years later she became the member of parliament for Curtin in Western Australia which took her to Canberra.
Julie Isabel Bishop career experienced a major boost when she became foreign minister in the Abbott cabinet in 2013. She was lauded for her handling of the disappearance of flight MH370, for which Australia continues to lead the search.
“She seems to tread the bilateral waters really carefully, more carefully than others… and is adept at managing bilateral relations,” says Jill Sheppard from the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University (ANU).
Julie Isabel Bishop Full Biography and Profile
Julie Bishop has served as the Member for Curtin in the House of Representatives since 1998. Ms Bishop was sworn in as Australia’s first female Foreign Minister on 18 September 2013 following four years in the role of Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. She resigned from this position on 28 August 2018.
As Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Bishop led the development of the 2017 Australian Foreign Policy White Paper – the first review of Australia’s international engagement for 14 years. The Foreign Policy White Paper sets out a comprehensive policy framework to ensure Australia’s prosperity and security over the next decade and beyond.
Ms Bishop has overseen the single largest expansion of Australia’s overseas diplomatic presence in 40 years, introduced the New Colombo Plan to support Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the Indo-Pacific region, and established the innovationXchange within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to develop bold and creative solutions to long standing development challenges.
She has strengthened Australia’s key strategic and economic relationships and enhanced Australia’s engagement with Pacific Island countries, including normalising relations with Fiji, leading international recovery and reconstruction efforts in Vanuatu and establishing a school of government in Papua New Guinea.
Ms Bishop promoted Australia’s interests at the United Nations Security Council, playing a lead role in the international response to the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine for which she was awarded the Commander of the Order of Merit of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2014.
She previously served as a Cabinet Minister in the Howard Government as Minister for Education, Science and Training and as the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues. Prior to this, Ms Bishop was Minister for Ageing.
Ms Bishop has also served on a number of parliamentary and policy committees including as Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.
Before entering Parliament Ms Bishop was a commercial litigation lawyer at Perth firm Clayton Utz, becoming a partner in 1985, and managing partner in 1994.
Ms Bishop graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Adelaide in 1978 and attended Harvard Business School in Boston in 1996, completing the Advanced Management Program for Senior Managers. In 2017, the University of Adelaide awarded Ms Bishop the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University for her contribution to Australian parliamentary service.
Julie Bishop Quick Facts:
- Elected to the House of Representatives for Curtin, Western Australia, 1998. Re-elected 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016.
- Minister for Ageing from 7.10.2003 to 27.1.2006.
- Minister for Education, Science and Training from 27.1.2006 to 3.12.2007.
- Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues from 27.1.2006 to 3.12.2007.
- Cabinet Minister from 27.1.2006 to 3.12.2007.
- Cabinet Minister from 18.9.2013 to 28.8.2018.
- Minister for Foreign Affairs from 18.9.2013 to 28.8.2018.
- Joint Statutory: Corporations and Securities from 9.12.1998 to 11.2.2002.
- Joint Standing: Treaties from 20.3.2002 to 4.11.2003 (Chair from 21.3.2002 to 4.11.2003); Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade from 10.3.2009 to 5.8.2013.
- Joint Select: Republic Referendum from 2.6.1999 to 9.8.1999.
- House of Representatives Standing: Legal and Constitutional Affairs from 8.12.1998 to 6.11.2003; Privileges from 6.2.2001 to 8.10.2001 (Nominee of the Leader of the House from ); Economics from 25.9.2008 to 25.2.2009.
Parliamentary party positions
- Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party from 29.11.2007 to 24.8.2018.
- Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 3.12.2007 to 18.9.2013.
- Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 6.12.2007 to 18.9.2013.
- Shadow Minister for Employment, Business and Workplace Relations from 6.12.2007 to 22.9.2008.
- Shadow Treasurer from 22.9.2008 to 16.2.2009.
- Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs from 16.2.2009 to 18.9.2013.
- Shadow Minister for Trade from 14.9.2010 to 18.9.2013.
- Branch President, Liberal Party Perth Central Branch (Perth Division) 1992-97
- Senior Vice-President, Liberal Party Perth Central Branch (Perth Division) 1997-98
- Vice-President, Liberal Party Claremont Branch (Curtin Division) 1998-2002
- Member, Liberal Party Crawley Branch (Curtin Division) from 2002
- Born 17.7.1956, Lobethal, Australia.
Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament
- LL.B (Adel)
- Advanced Management Program (Senior Managers) (Harvard Business School)
- Barrister and solicitor 1979-98
- Managing partner, Clayton Utz, Perth, WA 1994-98
- Chair, Town Planning Appeal Tribunal of WA 1994-98
- Senate Member, Murdoch University 1997-98
- Director, Special Broadcasting Services Television 1997-98
- Director and Fellow, Australian Institute of Management 1997-98
- Description: Inner Metropolitan
- Location: western Perth; it includes the suburbs of Churchlands, City Beach, Claremont, Cottesloe, Crawley, Daglish, Dalkeith, Doubleview, Floreat, Glendalough, Herdsman, Innaloo, Jolimont, Karrakatta, Karrinyup (part), Mount Claremont, Mosman Park, Osborne Park (part), Nedlands, Peppermint Grove, Scarborough (part), Shenton Park, Swanbourne, Subiaco, West Leederville, Wembley, Wembley Downs and Woodlands.
- Area: 98 Sq km
- Electors enrolled: 97534 (at 2.7.2016)
- Industries: medical, education, retail, recreation, light industrial, professional services, commercial, and hospitality.
- Electorate: Curtin includes the Western Australian Legislative Assembly electorates of Churchlands and Nedlands, and parts of Cottesloe, Perth and Scarborough.
Gender is not something Ms Bishop herself has focused on in her public persona, saying she does not describe herself as a feminist.
“A lot of people in the Liberal Party would not meditate on [Ms] Bishop’s gender because she hasn’t used it for better or worse,” says Jill Sheppard from the ANU. “She just downplays it.”
“But she combines femininity with a steely-eyed determination to succeed that doesn’t allow for consideration of her gender.”
- Julie Isabel Bishop Biography and Profile (APH Gov. / BBC / Goodreadbiography)