Julia Eileen Gillard (born 29 September 1961) is the 27th and current Prime Minister of Australia since June 2010. She is also the first woman ever to hold this position in the Australian government.
On July 29th 2010 she was interviewed by Jon Faine on ABC Melbourne in which she spoke candidly about her views concerning religion and belief in ‘God’:
Jon Faine: Do you believe in God?
Julia Gillard: No I don’t John, I’m not a religious person…
You can listen to the full interview here:
Naturally Julia Gillard’s being an atheist has stirred a lot of discussion in Australia:
In the video below, a panel from an Australian TV talk-show respond to a question from the audience regarding Julia Gillard’s atheism. The question asked was:
“Might Julia Gillard’s status as an atheist mean that she can represent Australians more effectively and be a unifying figure for people of faith and those who don’t have faith?”
The answers are interesting:
How religious is Australia?
The 2006 census identified that 64% of Australians call themselves Christian: 26% identifying themselves as Roman Catholic and 19% as Anglican. Five percent of Australians identify themselves as followers of non-Christian religions, and 19% categorised as having "No Religion"; 12% declined to answer or did not give a response adequate for interpretation. As in many Western countries, the level of active participation in church worship is much lower than this; weekly attendance at church services is about 1.5 million, about 7.5% of the population. (For the full Wikipedia article: Religion in Australia – Demographics, go here.)