Julia Gillard has a brand new gig and it's an extremely worthwhile one

The former PM is now chair of beyondblue.

By Lorna Gray
Julia Gillard is now the chair of beyondblue

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has a brand new role as Chairperson of beyondblue, the not-for-profit service for people suffering from depression and anxiety.

Julia has served on the board since 2014 but has now taken the head job from former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, who founded the organisation in 2000.

Mr Kennett said beyondblue was "part of his DNA" and revealed he’d been prepping for leadership change for the past three years.

He also spoke very highly about the former PM's credentials, noting Gillard was the second only ex-PM to join a community organisation after leaving office.

"Malcolm Fraser did it to Care Australia, and now Julia is the second who is using her past experiences to give something back to the community in such a demonstrable way," he said.

"For beyondblue to have a former Prime Minister as its leader will ensure we can continue to open doors politically, commercially and with the community."

When Gillard joined the board in 2014, she spoke passionately about supporting those who suffer from mental illness.

"As the daughter of a psychiatric nurse, I have always understood the need to talk openly about mental health and respond to those in need,” she said.

“In government, I was proud to extend services to help and treat young people battling depression and other conditions."

Gillard has thrown herself into many amazing ventures since leaving politics in 2013. She even teamed up with Rihanna recently, announcing her as an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education – an organisation that aims to give every child a quality basic education in 65 developing countries. "We won't give up until every child is in school and learning. Welcome to the @GPforEducation team, @rihanna!" she said. Gillard herself is the chairwoman of the organisation.

She’ll start her new position as chair of beyondblue on July 1.