Gil­lard forges new global al­le­giance

The Weekend Australian - - THE NATION - REMY VARGA

Ju­lia Gil­lard has traded La­bor lu­mi­nar­ies for celebri­ties as her un­likely friend­ship with pop star Ri­hanna con­tin­ues to grow.

While Aus­tralia’s first fe­male prime min­is­ter used to pal around with the likes of Si­mon Crean and for­mer boyfriend Craig Emerson, she rubbed shoul­ders in New York on Thurs­day night with US rap­per Lil’ Kim and model Emily Rata­jkowski at Ri­hanna’s third an­nual Di­a­mond Ball fundraiser for ed­u­ca­tion and health.

Ms Gil­lard chairs the Global Part­ner­ship for Ed­u­ca­tion, an ini­tia­tive to strengthen ex­ist­ing ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, and teamed with Ri­hanna’s Clara Lionel Foun­da­tion last year for the Global Cit­i­zen Ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tive.

She and Ri­hanna an­nounced the part­ner­ship at the Global Cit­i­zen Fes­ti­val in New York last year, where rap­per Ken­drick La­mar, Cold­play’s Chris Martin, ac­tor Bill Nye, and Me­tal­lica per­formed.

The un­likely duo vis­ited the African coun­try of Malawi with Global Cit­i­zen chief ex­ec­u­tive Hugh Evans in Jan­uary, and spent time with ed­u­ca­tors, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial and stu­dents.

Ms Gil­lard re­port­edly said the pop star was “de­light­ful to travel with” and “great fun”.


Ju­lia Gil­lard at Ri­hanna’s fundraiser in New York

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