Julie Isabel Bishop (born 17 July 1956) is an Australian politician and the current Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Australia. She holds this title as the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia. She is the party's first female Deputy Leader and the third woman in Australian history to hold the title of Deputy Leader of the Opposition. She is currently the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Shadow Minister for Trade.
She has been a member of the Australian House of Representatives since 1998, representing the seat of Curtin in Western Australia. She was a minister in the Howard government until the defeat of the Liberal/National Coalition at the election held on 24 November 2007. On 27 November 2007, she announced she was running for the position of Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party. She won the ballot on 29 November 2007 and became the party's first female Deputy Leader.
Bishop won pre-selection for the Liberal Party for the seat of Curtin, Western Australia, in 1998, and went on to win the seat at the federal election later that year, defeating the sitting member and Liberal turned independent Allan Rocher, who had held the seat since 1981.
Bishop was appointed Minister for Ageing in 2003. She was later promoted to Minister for Education, Science and Training and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women's Issues in the cabinet reshuffle on 24 January 2006 and served in those positions until the defeat of the Coalition government at the federal election held on 24 November 2007.
Following the Coalition's loss at the 2007 election, Bishop was elected deputy leader of the Liberal Party under Brendan Nelson on 29 November 2007. In a ballot of Liberal party room members, Bishop prevailed with 44 votes, one more than the combined total of her two competitors: Andrew Robb (25 votes) and Christopher Pyne (18 votes). On 22 September, Bishop was offered the role of Shadow Treasurer by Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull, making her the first woman to hold the portfolio of any major party at the federal level. On 16 February 2009, she resigned from the position of Shadow Treasurer, due to dissatisfaction within Liberal ranks over her performance. Bishop moved to Foreign Affairs while maintaining her position of Deputy Leader; the shadow treasury portfolio was taken over by Joe Hockey. On 1 December 2009, Tony Abbott was elected leader. Bishop retained the deputy role.
Bishop retained the role of Deputy Leader without challenge following the Coalition's narrow loss in the 2010 federal election, and retained the portfolios of Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Shadow Minister for Trade.
September 16, 2010