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‘I’m ignited by three small words. I will not.’

It’s 9 October, 2012. She’s been PM for two years and four months and she’s worn down. She’s been hounded, slurred, dissected, libelled. She’s been violated over and over again by words. Julia Gillard’s prime ministership was marred by the Australian media monopoly’s inability to step over one thing: that she was a woman. A woman who, as a young aspiring lawyer, was told, ‘when you are on your way up, don’t forget the flowers that grow on the roadside.’ There, in the spotlight of Australia’s politics and patriarchy, she encounters thorns of the sharpest, cruellest kind.

Joanna Murray-Smith’s Julia peels back the public mask to attend to the private woman; one who harbours compassion, doubt, rage and ambition. A woman compelled not simply by her own voice, but by the voices of a million others speaking to, and with, her.

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024