|Height:||160 cm (5' 3'')|
|Birth Day:||July 17, 1956|
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She studied law at the University of Adelaide and business at Harvard University.
Bishop was born on 17 July 1956 in Lobethal, South Australia. She is the third of four children born to Isabel Mary (née Wilson) and Douglas Alan Bishop; she has two older sisters and a younger brother. Bishop has described her parents as "classic Menzies Liberals". Her father was a returned soldier and orchardist, while her mother's family were sheep and wheat farmers. Both her mother and grandfather William Bishop were active in local government, serving terms as mayor of the East Torrens District Council.
Bishop grew up on an apple and cherry orchard in Basket Range. The year before she was born, it was burned to the ground in the Black Sunday bushfires. Bishop began her education at Basket Range Primary School and later attended St Peter's Collegiate Girls' School in Adelaide. She was the head prefect in her final year. Bishop went on to study law at the University of Adelaide. She worked two part-time jobs as a barmaid while at university—one at Football Park and one at a pub in Uraidla. She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1978.
After graduating law school, Bishop joined Wallmans, an Adelaide-based law firm, as its first female articled clerk. She left after less than a year, in part due to an incident where a senior partner asked her to perform waitressing duties. In 1982, aged 26, she became a partner in the firm of Mangan, Ey & Bishop. The following year, she married West Australian property developer Neil Gillon, and moved to Perth.
On arriving in WA, Bishop joined Robinson Cox as a solicitor specialising in commercial litigation, and was made a full partner in 1985. According to Kerry Stokes, "in the legal profession she was a very determined, reasoned person [...] there's not been much written about what a good executive Julie was—responsible for administering and running a partnership, not just a lawyer".
As a legal advisor to the Western Australian Development Corporation, Bishop assisted in the incorporation of several new government enterprises, including Gold Corporation (the operator of the Perth Mint), LandCorp, and Eventscorp (a division of Tourism Western Australia). Robinson Cox merged into the larger firm of Clayton Utz in 1992, and she was made managing partner of the firm's Perth office in 1994. In the same year, she took up an appointment as chair of the state government's Town Planning Appeal Tribunal, serving a three-year term. In 1996, Bishop attended Harvard Business School for eight weeks to complete the Advanced Management Programme for senior managers. She has credited one of her lecturers there, George C. Lodge, with inspiring her to enter public life. In 1997, she was elected to the senate of Murdoch University and appointed as a director of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).
Bishop joined the Liberal Party in 1992. She has credited the WA Inc scandal with making her think she "did not ever want to see a Labor government elected again". She was chosen as the president of the Liberal party's CBD branch the year she joined the party, serving until 1997. In 1998, Senator Nick Minchin invited her to serve as an appointed delegate to the 1998 national constitutional convention. She was a "minimalist republican", and voted against the final model because she considered it too radical and unlikely to succeed at a referendum. At the convention, she became acquainted with Peter Costello, at the time serving as federal treasurer under John Howard.
Prior to the 1998 federal election, Bishop won Liberal preselection for the Division of Curtin, which takes in Perth's western suburbs. Her preselection bid received the support of Premier Richard Court, who had earmarked her as a future member of federal cabinet. The seat had been held for 17 years by Allan Rocher, who was a personal friend of Prime Minister John Howard but had left the Liberals in 1995 to sit as an independent. Howard did not want the Liberals to run a candidate against Rocher, and refused to campaign for Bishop; however, Peter Costello and Alexander Downer both supported her candidacy and Costello launched her campaign. At the election, she reclaimed the seat for the Liberals with a large swing in her favour.
Bishop was appointed Minister for Ageing by Prime Minister John Howard in 2003. She was later promoted to Minister for Education and Science and Minister for Women in 2006 and served in those positions until the defeat of the Howard Government at the 2007 federal election.
As education minister, Bishop's policies centred on the development of national education standards as well as performance-based pay for teachers. On 13 April 2007, the Australian State Governments jointly expressed opposition to Bishop's pay policy. In the 2007 budget, the Federal Government announced a $5 billion "endowment fund" for higher education, with the expressed goal of providing world-class tertiary institutions in Australia. Some of Bishop's public comments on education, including the remark that "the states have ideologically hijacked school syllabi and are wasting $180 million in unnecessary duplication", were criticised by teachers. An advance media kit for a 2006 speech claimed parts of the contemporary curriculum came "straight from Chairman Mao"; the remark was dropped from her speech.
Following the 2007 election, Bishop was elected Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party on 29 November 2007; Brendan Nelson was elected Leader. In a ballot of Liberal Party room members, Bishop comfortably won with 44 votes, one more than the combined total of her two competitors, Andrew Robb (with 25 votes) and Christopher Pyne (with 18 votes).
On 22 September 2008, Bishop was promoted to the role of Shadow Treasurer by Nelson's successor as Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, making her the first woman to hold that portfolio. On 16 February 2009, however, she was moved from that position, with widespread media speculation that her colleagues were dissatisfied with her performance in the role. She was instead given the job of Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. After Tony Abbott was elected Liberal Leader following the 2009 leadership spill, Bishop retained her roles as Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In 2010, Bishop defended the suspected forgery of Australian passports by Mossad, saying that many countries practised the forging of passports for intelligence operations, including Australia. The Rudd Government attacked Bishop over the statements, saying she had "broken a long-standing convention" of not speculating about intelligence practices. She later clarified her statement, saying, "I have no knowledge of any Australian authority forging any passports of any nation."
Following the Coalition's narrow loss in the 2010 federal election, Bishop was re-elected unanimously as Deputy Leader by her colleagues and retained the position of Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, while also being given the additional responsibility of Shadow Minister for Trade.
After the Coalition won the 2013 federal election, new Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed Bishop as Minister for Foreign Affairs; she was sworn in by Governor-General Quentin Bryce on 18 September 2013. She became the only female member of the cabinet and was given the third-highest rank, after Abbott and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss. In the months following her appointment several media reports claimed that Bishop, along with Social Services Minister Scott Morrison, were regarded internally as the best performing ministers in the Government.
The new government was sworn into office on 18 September 2013. Incoming Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the same day that AusAID would be integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT). The news of the proposed integration had been conveyed by Bishop to senior AusAID staff some days earlier. The official explanation for the integration of AusAID into DFAT was that “Integration will enable DFAT to better pursue Australia’s national interests by ensuring closer alignment and mutually reinforcing linkages among the Government’s aid, foreign affairs and trade efforts.”
In December 2014, Bishop became only the second woman to serve as acting prime minister, after Julia Gillard. Throughout her tenure as foreign minister, Bishop had been frequently tipped by political commentators as a possible future leader of the Liberal Party and prime minister.
In October 2014, Man Haron Monis wrote to Attorney-General George Brandis asking if he (Monis) could contact the leader of ISIS, two months before he took hostages in the Sydney siege. On 28 May 2015, Bishop told Parliament that the letter was provided to a review of the siege, before correcting the record three days later.
Months after the Abbott Government took office, Bishop announced the implementation of a New Colombo Plan which would provide undergraduate students with funding to study in several different locations within the Indo-Pacific. The plan started off in pilot form and after initial success the full program was rolled out in 2015.
In a 2015 speech explaining the Australian Government's measures against ISIS, Bishop compared the psychological underpinnings of ISIS with that of Nazism. Citing Eric Hoffer's seminal work The True Believer, she argued that the declared Caliphate drew from the same source that drove the masses to support Hitler; "Invincibility was—until the US-led airstrikes—all part of its attraction."
In April 2015, Bishop paid an official visit to Iran, following the conclusion of a visit to India. She was the first Australian government minister to visit the country since 2003, having been personally invited by Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. They discussed the proposed nuclear deal and issues relating to Iranian asylum seekers in Australia. Bishop wore a headscarf or a hat for the duration of her visit, and did not shake hands with male dignitaries in order to avoid offending local sensibilities. She received some criticism for doing so, with Andrew Bolt rhetorically asking whether she should have "subjugated herself" to Islamic law. Head coverings are not mandatory for foreign women visiting Iran. In response, she said: "As a matter of fact I wear scarves and hats and headgear quite often as part of my everyday wear".
Bishop was involved at the highest level of negotiations with the Indonesian Government in attempts to save the lives of convicted drug smugglers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. Demonstrating Australia's opposition to the death penalty, Bishop was widely applauded for the manner in which she conducted negotiations. This was in stark contrast to the criticism faced by Tony Abbott who was ridiculed for remarks he made in regards to foreign aid provided by Australia to Indonesia. Despite the Government's efforts, both Chan and Sukumaran were executed in April 2015. As a result of the executions, Bishop recalled the Australian Ambassador from Indonesia in condemnation of their decision.
By August 2015, Bishop stated that Australia's relationship with Indonesia was "back on track" after privately meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Minister to discuss the fallout from the executions.
In February 2015, in response to rising criticisms of his leadership, Tony Abbott called a spill of leadership positions. Both Julie Bishop and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull were reported by the media as considering challenging for the leadership. Opinion poll results consistently showed that both Bishop and Turnbull were preferred by the public to Abbott. Eventually a motion to move a leadership spill fell by 61 votes to 39, and Abbott consequentially remained in office.
On 14 September 2015, Malcolm Turnbull challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party. After Turnbull was successfully elected, Bishop defeated a challenge from Kevin Andrews to retain her position as Deputy Leader by 70 votes to 30. Hours before Turnbull's challenge, Bishop had visited Abbott to advise him he had lost the confidence of the Parliamentary Liberal Party. She is said to have intended to vote for Abbott in the leadership vote until he declared her position vacant as well as his, after which she voted for Turnbull. Bishop was retained as Foreign Minister following the formation of the Turnbull Government.
During the internal debate on same-sex marriage which divided the Liberal Party in August 2015, Bishop refused to publicly declare her personal views on the matter. However, her statement that she was "very liberally minded" on the topic was taken by many to be an allusion towards support of same-sex marriage. In a television interview in November 2015, Bishop confirmed that she supported same-sex marriage.
In August 2015, Bishop spoke in favour of holding a plebiscite on the matter, believing that the issue should be put to a democratic vote so that it could no longer distract from the government's policy agenda. This ultimately became the policy adopted by the government. Following the postal plebiscite in 2017, which resulted in a "Yes" vote, Bishop stated that she had voted in support of same-sex marriage.
In early September 2017, as the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar became ethnic cleansing, Bishop said that Australia was deeply concerned by the escalating violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State and would provide up to A$5 million to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. In 2018, Bishop called "for an end to the violence, for full and unhindered humanitarian access … and a full and transparent accountability of the human rights abuses". She also said that Australia's relationship with Myanmar Army "is designed to help promote positive change in Myanmar".
In May 2018, Geoff Raby, a former Australian Ambassador to China, criticised Bishop's handling of Australia–China relations, stating she had neglected the relationship between the countries and had angered Chinese leaders with "strident public comments on the South China Sea" and a speech questioning China's regional leadership. He called on Malcolm Turnbull to "replace the Foreign Minister with someone better equipped for the demands of the job". In response, Bishop said that Raby was "profoundly ignorant [...] about the level of engagement between Australia and China at present and the state of the relationship", and that he had not spoken to her or her office in several years. Turnbull said the opinion piece was "utterly wrong" and described Bishop as "a formidable foreign minister, a great diplomat and a great colleague".
On 26 August, Bishop issued a statement indicating that she would resign as Minister for Foreign Affairs. She was replaced by Senator Marise Payne on 28 August 2018.
On 21 August 2018, Malcolm Turnbull called a leadership spill and defeated challenger Peter Dutton by 48 votes to 35. The deputy leadership was also declared vacant, with Bishop re-elected as deputy leader unopposed. Over the following days, there was widespread speculation about a second spill being called, and multiple media outlets reported on 23 August that Bishop would be a candidate for the leadership if that eventuated. A second spill was called on 24 August, and Bishop was eliminated on the first ballot with 11 votes out of 85 (or 12.9 percent). Morrison was elected leader over Dutton on the second ballot, and Josh Frydenberg was chosen as deputy leader. Bishop is the first woman to formally stand for the leadership of the Liberal Party, and only the second woman to stand for the leadership of one of Australia's two major parties, after the Labor Party's Julia Gillard.
Following her retirement from political life, Bishop took up a position on the board of the professional services company Palladium. In early August 2019 it was announced that she had agreed to take up the position of chancellor of Australian National University, commencing in January 2020. She would be the University's first female chancellor. Her predecessor is Gareth Evans, another former foreign minister. As chancellor, she will receive an annual honorarium of $75,000, the same amount as the outgoing chancellor Evans received in his final year.
Currently, Julie Bishop is 65 years, 10 months and 0 days old. Julie Bishop will celebrate 66th birthday on a Sunday 17th of July 2022.
Find out about Julie Bishop birthday activities in timeline view here.