Australia's Top Politicians
Written by Sharise Cruz
When Julia Gillard became Australia’s 27th Prime Minister, she broke several longstanding records.
Not only is Gillard the first female to ever hold the position, she is the first who has never been married and the first since Billy Hughes (1915-1923) to have been born overseas.
Gillard was born in Barry, Wales and moved with her family to Australia when she was five years old.
She got her first introduction to politics during her second year at the University of Adelaide, but decided to take a different route initially, moving to Melbourne and earning a law degree. During her time in Melbourne, Gillard’s political leanings strengthened as she led the Australian Union of Students and served as secretary of the Socialist Forum.
Eventually, Gillard became Deputy Prime Minister of Australia in 2007 and Prime Minister in 2010, succeeding Kevin Rudd.
During her time in office, Gillard has said that her leanings are toward issues in education and that she’s not very interested in foreign policy. Gillard’s membership in the Victorian Left faction of the Labor Party has been described by biographer Jacqueline Kent as “more organisational than ideological,” as Gillard’s election to Prime Minister occurred because of support from the Right factions of the party.
In contrast with predecessor Rudd, Gillard is against a “big Australia,” saying that “Australia should not hurtle down the track towards a big population.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer
Wayne Swan is Julia Gillard’s right hand man and Australia’s financial wiz.
Swan has been an Australian Labour Party member of the Australian House of Representatives and became Treasurer after Labour’s 2007 election win.
Earlier this year, Swan released Australia’s 2011-2012 budget, insisting that it needs to toughen up in order to deliver a surplus in 2012. Swan has pledged to return Australia back into the black by initiating $22 billion in cuts over four years, including a halt on the income limit on family assistance at $150,000 a year.
“...The purpose of this Labour Government and this Labour Budget is to put the opportunities that flow from a strong economy within reach of more Australians,” Swan said during his 2011-2012 Budget Speech. “We are on track for surplus in 2012-13, on time, as promised.”
Australia Labor Party President
Jenny McAllister has been a Labour party member since 1992, and operates with the notion that her active party membership can make a difference on important issues.
Throughout her career, McAllister has been active in campaigns for the environment, peace and women’s parliamentary representation.
In 2003, McAllister co-founded the Labour Environment Activist Network with Premier Kristina Keneally. Now a national organisation, the LEAN campaigns within the ALP on environmental issues, particularly climate change.
McAllister’s politics focus on economics, indigenous culture and policy, the environment and Australia’s role in the Pacific.
Leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives and federal leader of the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia
Abbott has held several government positions, including Minister for Employment Services, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Minister for Health and Ageing and Leader of the House.
Abbot supports Australia’s constitutional monarchy and has argued against a republican system of government in the past.
He has also gone on the record doubting the science of climate change, saying that the economics of an Emissions Trading Scheme was “a bit dodgy.”
In 2009, Abbott told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
“I am always reluctant to join bandwagons. I think there are fashions in science and in the academe, just as there are fashions in so many other things. But look, we should take reasonable precautions against credible threats. I think it is perfectly reasonable to take action against climate change. The problem with the Rudd Government’s position is that Australia could end up impoverishing itself through this dramatic ETS, and not do anything for the environment if the rest of the world does not adopt an ETS or something like it.”
Abbott has taken similarly strong stances on other subjects, as he is pro-life, an opponent of embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia, and has stated that he would not amend Australian law to recognise gay marriage.
Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?
Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.
Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.
JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.
Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.
Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?
A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.
The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.
According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.
Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.
“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”
How did JungJin get there?
JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.
And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.
With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.
“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”