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Julia Gillard reflects at writers festival session

MY STORY: Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard answered questions about our new book ‘My Story’.
MY STORY: Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard answered questions about our new book ‘My Story’. Cathryn Mclauchlan

THE Byron Bay Writers Festival has wrapped up for the year but ticket holders are unlikely to forget being treated to a writers' session with former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The packed Saturday Q&A session saw the former prime minister talk about her new book "My Story", while she also opened up old political wounds.

"Certainly the way we handled carbon pricing ... not having the debate whether or not putting a price on carbon and creating an emissions trading scheme should be called a tax," Ms Gillard said.

"That was a dreadful tactical error which created an ongoing political nightmare."

Ms Gillard said she misses the top job - in particular the policy making - but she said she was excited to move into writing a book.

"I started thinking about writing a book about my life as prime minister but also looking back on my earlier life ... I got into discussions with publishers and was delighted to sign up with Random House," she said.

When asked how she would like people to talk about her in 150 years, Ms Gillard joked she had no delusions people would actually still be talking about her.

None the less she hoped some legacies would remain.

"I think I'll probably be remembered for being the first woman (prime minister)," Ms Gillard said.

"I hope I'm remembered for being the architect of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

"I also hope there have been so many women to serve as prime minister by then that really this whole issue of gender and politics is long gone."

Ms Gillard is now a professor and advocate for women and education.

She has a strong involvement in the Global Partnership for Education and seeing girls in developing countries gain access to school.

Topics:  byron bay byron bay writers festival lismore q&a writers festival writing



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