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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The real Julie Bishop

Anne Summers has an in-depth chat with federal MP Julie Bishop for The Weekly and discovers what makes her tick.

Julie Bishop photoshoot

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party found herself at the centre of leadership speculation when a spill motion was moved against Prime Minister Tony Abbott in February.

It was the spill that never was, but the focus hasn't lifted from the lean and energetic 58-year-old former lawyer who describes her current political portfolio as "the most extraordinary position" and one that she is "overjoyed" to hold.

In any case, as Bishop tells Anne Summers for an interview for The Weekly, she is a survivor.

"I've proven through successive leaderships that I can be a constant thread," she says.

The only woman in Tony Abbott’s cabinet (until Sussan Ley was promoted in 2014) Julie Bishop is used to making her way through the boys club. She once said of her first job at law firm where as a 22 year-old lawyer she was asked to serve drinks at a mixer, while the male recruit got to mingle with the partners,

"I knew I couldn't stay in that firm."

With her drive and focus it's of little surprise that Bishop names high profile women such as Condoleezza Rice, Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton as her "political heroes."

When Bishop was given the opportunity to ask Clinton for her advice on the challenges of being a woman in the foreign affairs job, the woman who could be the next US President replied: "Believe in yourself. Don't let others define you."

It's advice that no doubt stands out in the chatter that surrounds Julie Bishop.

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