News National Prime Ministers of Australia: A guide to the past leaders

Prime Ministers of Australia: A guide to the past leaders

Before entering politics, Turnbull worked as a journalist, lawyer, merchant banker and venture capitalist.
Before entering politics, Turnbull worked as a journalist, lawyer, merchant banker and venture capitalist. Photo: Getty
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Australia has seen 29 prime ministers come into office since Federation in 1901.

Malcolm Turnbull became the 29th Prime Minister of Australia on September 15, 2015.

Who was the first prime minister of Australia?

Edmund Barton became the first prime minister of Australia on January 1, 1901.

The ceremony was publicly held in Centennial Park in Sydney where 60,000 people gathered to witness the proclamation of the Federal Constitution.

A choir of 10,000 people sang Advance Australia Fair, which became the national anthem in 1977.

Edmund Barton married Jane Ross in 1877 and they had six children together.
Edmund Barton married Jane Ross in 1877 and they had six children together. Photo: Getty

Prior to becoming the PM, Mr Barton had been a member of the Parliament of New South Wales for 20 years.

Mr Barton resigned as PM on September 23,1903 when he became a foundation member of the High Court of Australia.

He stayed in this position for 16 years and died on January 7, 1920 in New South Wales.

Who was the first female prime minister of Australia?

Julia Gillard became the first female prime minister of Australia on June 24, 2010.

After Kevin Rudd lost the support of his party, Ms Gillard was elected unopposed by the Parliamentary Labor Party.

On June 26, 2013, Ms Gillard was defeated in a leadership ballot by Mr Rudd.

Therefore, Mr Gillard announced she would not contest her seat at the coming election. She retired from political life shortly after.

Who was the longest serving prime minister?

Robert Menzies was Australia’s longest serving prime minister.

He was in office twice from 1939 to 1941 and again from 1949 to 1966. Therefore he was in office for a total of 18 years.

During his time as PM, Mr Menzies authorised Australia’s entry into World War || and spent four months in England, participating in meetings of Churchill’s war cabinet.

In 1941, he resigned as PM due to losing support of his party.

Who was the shortest serving prime minister?

Francis Forde served as prime minister for eight days from July 6 to July 13 in 1945.

He held office in the place of John Curtin who died on July 5, 1945.

Mr Forde is the only Australian PM to have never led a political party.