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Who Is Julie Bishop? Former Aussie Politician’s Life and Career Explained!

Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop is an Australian politician from the conservative Liberal Party. Bishop was the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia and Australia’s first female Foreign Minister from 2013 to 2018 becoming the 38th Minister to hold the position. She was also the Minister for Care of the Elderly (2003-2006), Minister of Education, Science and Training (2006-2007).

Julie Bishop: Where Is The Former Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Now?


Julie Bishop was born in Lobethal, South Australia, and was educated at St Peter’s Collegiate Girls’ School. 

She received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Adelaide in 1978.

Since 1985 she has been a managing partner of one of the largest Australian law firms, Clayton Utz. She studied in the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1986.

Political career:

After leaving school, Julie Bishop studied at the University of Adelaide. After her studies she worked as a lawyer at Clayton Utz, as a partner from 1985 and as a managing partner from 1994 to 1998. 

Prior to that in 1992 she joined the Liberal Party of Australia and would go on to later become a member of the Australian House of Representatives in 1998. 

Since 1998 she has been a member of the Australian House of Representatives for the Curtin constituency in Perth, which includes the affluent boroughs of Claremont, Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Nedlands, Subiaco City and Swanbourne. 

Bishop was appointed Minister for the Elderly in 2003. On January 24, 2006, she was promoted to Minister for Education and Science and Assistant Minister for Women’s Affairs, positions she held until the Coalition’s defeat in the federal election on 24 November 2007. 

Bishop was Secretary of State for Education and Science under Prime Minister John Howard from 2006 until the 2007 election defeat. Since 2007 she has served as Vice-Chairman of the Liberal Group in Parliament under Chairmen Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott. After another change of power on September 7, 2013, Bishop became Australia’s Foreign Secretary on September 18, 2013 in the cabinet of Prime Minister Tony Abbott. She also retained this office under the successor in the office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.


Bishop’s educational policies focused on the development of national education standards as well as performance-based salaries for teachers. On April 13, 2007, Australian state governments came out in opposition to Bishop’s policies, in particular those related to pay according to performance. In the 2007 budget, the federal government announced a $5 billion fund for higher education, with the specific goal of providing world-class tertiary education institutions in Australia.

Some of Bishop’s comments, including ones that said: “states have ideologically hijacked school programs and are wasting $180 million on unnecessary duplication,” have been criticized by teachers. A recent speech preview said that parts of the current resume came “directly from Commander Mao”; however, the comment was ultimately abandoned.

How did Julie Bishop get into Congress?

In 1998, Bishop was pre-selected by the Liberal Party of Australia to contest the seat for Curtin, Western Australia, and in the federal election that year she won the seat from Allan Rocher, who was a former member of the party and had represented Curtin since 1981.

Following the Liberals’ defeat in the 2001 state election, Bishop was proposed as a possible candidate to lead the state opposition. Initially, Richard Court, the Liberal candidate in the 2001 election, announced that he would continue his political work by opposition command; however, behind the scenes he was trying to strike a deal whereby Bishop would have passed the federal seat to the Court’s internal opponent, Colin Barnett, entered parliament through a special election with either the Court seats or Barnett and thus take Court’s place as the leading liberal in the state. The deal never went through, but when Bishop turned it down, he stated that it was not a strange arrangement, but rather “innovative and different”. 

Court was forced out of politics, and Barnett became the new leader of the opposition in the state.

When did Julie Bishop retire?

On August 24, 2018, she lost the fight for leadership in the party, dropping out after the first round of voting (in the second round, Treasury Secretary Morrison defeated Peter Dutton). 4 days later on August 28, 2018, she resigned and was replaced by Marise Payne. On February 21, 2019, Bishop publicly shared her retirement from politics.

Other than politics, what else has Julie Bishop done?

Bishop was a former director of the Western Australia Court of Urban Planning Appeal, a former senate of Murdoch University, director of the Special Broadcasting Service, and director and fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Lions Ear and Hearing Institute.

After marrying, Bishop moved to Perth, where she practiced law as a business trial attorney at Robinson Cox (now Clayton Utz). She became a partner at Clayton Utz in 1985, and a manager in the Perth office in 1994. In 1996, she entered Harvard Business School in Boston and completed the eight-week advanced program for managers. 

Where is Julie Bishop now?

Since Marise Payne became Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Morrison government, Julie has retired. She has been chancellor of the Australian National University since 2020. These days Julie Bishop lives in Perth. 

After her political career, she was recruited by the financial company Greensill Capital (en) as an adviser, carrying out lobbying missions with political leaders for an annual salary of more than 600,000 dollars!

Most interestingly, she was recently spotted to have dressed in all black, like a revenge dress during David Jones’s fashion launch. 

Who is Julie Bishop’s husband?

In 1983, Julie Bishop married Neil Gillio; however, they divorced five years later. She later had a relationship with liberal state congressman and senator Ross Lightfoot. She is currently in a relationship with Peter Nattrass, the former Mayor of Perth.

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