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The Experts

A brush with celebrity

Maureen Jordan
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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I am proud that Australia can now say that a woman has been Prime Minister. It would seem that Ms Gillard has all the credentials to be a politician. Time will tell if she has what it takes to be our top leader.

Like many people, I look for things that go beyond the rhetoric, promises and spin. I’ve learnt over the years not to trust politicians – sad as it is to say that. I try to work out my own way to determine whether a person has what it takes to get my vote and stamp of approval. I’ve never met Julia Gillard so my opinion is based purely on what I watch on TV and what I read in newspapers, etc.

However, I did have a brush with her one day and it has stuck in my gut ever since. I was in a private airport lounge walking along a corridor where there were no other people nor any distractions. We were just two women walking in opposite directions. Both of us were dressed in business attire. Both of us could be described as determined types, looking like we’re always on a mission!

When I saw the then-deputy PM coming towards me, I tried to make eye contact with her – I was hoping just to nod and smile with that familiarity that us common folk (Kevin Rudd taught me that phrase!) have when we see a well-known figure.

Ms Gillard kept her eyes firmly fixed in front of her and made no attempt to make eye contact or give any semblance of an idea that she felt another woman passing her – let alone an Australian whom she represents. Her chin was pointing skyward in that way I’ve often seen in photos – trouble was, there was no camera in this corridor so she did no more than hold her head high and walk on by.

When other women ask me what I think of her, I tell them this story. I wonder why she did that – big issues of state must have been on her mind.

It kind of reminded me of the way Kevin Rudd ignored Kristina Keneally. Funny that.

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Published: Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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