Here’s the plot: an unmarried, foreign-born, atheist woman whose partner is a male hairdresser wants to lead a major nation famous for manly men. Her opponent is the “Mad Monk” -- a Speedo-loving amateur boxer who once studied to be a priest.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, needing an unprecedented recovery in popularity to win elections in three months, faces a window in coming weeks where her leadership could again come under challenge.
A single, unprovoked punch to the head from a stranger was enough to kill teenager Thomas Kelly as he walked through Sydney’s most famous nightspot with his girlfriend. Almost two years on, authorities are fighting back.
Architects of the float of Australia’s dollar, trading at a similar level to when exchange controls were lifted 30 years ago, say the currency must devalue and economic reform be renewed to avert a recession.
Julia Gillard saw herself as equal to men years before becoming the first woman to lead Australia. As a teenager she forced her high school to abandon the practice of putting more girls than boys at work cleaning the school and demanded the job be shared equitably.
Julia Gillard staged a political coup in June 2010 to become Australia’s prime minister and clung to power two months later, assembling a one-seat majority after the closest election since 1940. Her biggest leadership test may come next week.
Australia’s currency reached parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time since exchange controls ended in 1983 as the biggest mining boom in a century and U.S. stimulus prospects spurred demand for the nation’s assets.