Gillard forges new global allegiance
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