The first female prime minister of Australia took office today. Julia Gillard may have been elected by parliament instead of the people, but it's a big day for women, nonetheless, even if she doesn't see it that way.
"I didn't set out to crash my head on any glass ceilings," said the 48-year-old in her first press conference. "I set out to keep my feet on the floor and to be there walking the streets, talking to Australians about what's the right thing for this nation."
Before she gets to leading, though, let's get some facts about the first unmarried, female redhead to take Australia's highest office.
- Wanted to be a teacher: A top student who always loved school, Julia believed she'd be a teacher until a friend's mom told her — "for good or ill" — she should try law because of her arguing and debating skills.
- Her partner is a hairstylist: She may be Australia's first unmarried prime minister, but her heart belongs to hairstylist Tim Mathieson. Though he was not her stylist, they met while she was having her hair done at the salon he worked at. They began dating in 2006.
- Not having children is one of her secrets to success: She told The Bulletin in 2007 that she could not have achieved her level of success (deputy prime minister at the time) if she had children.
- Is Welsh born: The second foreign-born PM in Australia's history, Julia was born in Wales, but migrated to Australia when she was four. She suffered from bronchopneumonia, and her doctor told her parents to move to a warmer climate. When they announced the move to Australia, the doctor said he meant southern England.
- Hates tattoos on women: Conservatives may fear her liberal politics, but she's worried about becoming socially conservative with age. She told the Daily Telegraph in February that she hates tattoos on young women, and fears their diminishing clothes in advertising and on TV.