Julia Gillard’s thoughts on a wedding at The Lodge was just one of the lighter moments of the second part of an interview that marked the end of her silence since being ousted by Kevin Rudd as prime minister.
Ms Gillard promptly answered “no” when asked by a woman in the audience if she ever considered marrying her partner Tim Mathieson to get the media off her back.
“It doesn’t matter to us, we’ve chosen what we want and if it doesn’t matter to us than I don’t think it should matter to anyone else,” she said.
Ms Gillard was speaking to Anne Summers at the Melbourne Town Hall in the second part of an interview forum that had been in Sydney the previous night.
She also joked about the media circus a wedding at the lodge would have created.
“Could you imagine the carry on there would be about what she was going to wear, is she going to trip up when she walks down the aisle,” she said.
On feminist Germaine Greer’s infamous comments that Ms Gillard wore unflattering jackets and had a “big arse”, the former prime minister said: “more than anything else I was disappointed for her”.
“I grew up thinking Germaine Greer was amazing,” she said.
“For everything she’s done and everything she is and the great worth she’s brought to our understanding of gender I just thought, it just let her down as much as it let me down. So I was sad for that.”
But, she said she was not personally hurt by the comments.
“To the extent that I ever got upset about people commenting on my appearance, boy I’m through the pain barrier,” she said.
In a warmer moment, Ms Gillard made special mention of Victoria’s first female premier Joan Kirner, who was sitting in the front row of the audience on Tuesday night.
Ms Kirner revealed in August that she was receiving treatment for oesophageal cancer.
Ms Gillard said she had known Ms Kirner for 30 years and recalled working with her to introduce affirmative action rules in the ALP.
“I was the junior burger in that conversation, I was the one who took the notes and had to follow things up as the leading women thought through the strategy, but that was a fantastic way to learn,” she said.