Former prime minister Julia Gillard named visiting professor at London's King's College
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Former prime minister Julia Gillard named visiting professor at London's King's College

Former prime minister Julia Gillard has been appointed visiting professor at London's prestigious King's College.

The former Labor leader and education minister will join King's Policy Institute and the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, adding to her international work with the Centre for Universal Education at Washington DC's Brookings Institution and as chair of the Global Partnership for Education.

"I am very honoured to be appointed by King's College as a visiting professor in 2016," Ms Gillard said in a statement.

"I look forward with great enthusiasm to substantive academic engagement with the students and faculty at King's, and to contributing to meaningful discussion of issues of importance to society and the world."

Former prime minister Julia Gillard defended NAPLAN, one of her major reforms as education minister.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard defended NAPLAN, one of her major reforms as education minister.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

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Serving as prime minister between 2010 and 2013, Ms Gillard was appointed chancellor of the Australian-based online education provider Dūcere in February 2015 and serves as an honorary professor at the University of Adelaide and patron of Perth's John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library.

King's College president and principal Professor Ed Byrne said he was delighted by Ms Gillard's appointment.

"On a more personal note it's a pleasure to see a fellow British-born Australian – Julia was born in Wales – join us here at this world leading university," Professor Byrne said in a statement.

"Julia brings the most incredible wealth of experience, as well as important insights of the education systems both here and in Australia.

Julia Gillard discusses girls' education with Charlize Theron and Michelle Obama in September 2015.

Julia Gillard discusses girls' education with Charlize Theron and Michelle Obama in September 2015.

"She is a great champion for equal opportunity and excellent education, an ethos we share here at King's."

Among her other educational work, Ms Gillard serves as a director of mental health advocacy group Beyond Blue, and on the Board of Governors of the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia.

She is patron of Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education, which works for the advancement of female education in Africa.

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Tom McIlroy is a political reporter for the Financial Review in the federal press gallery at Parliament House.