Julia Gillard Cancels Charity Launch
5 November 2015 at 11:45 am
Former prime minister Julia Gillard has cancelled plans to launch a new national charity in support of pregnant teenagers.
Gillard was scheduled to be present as an ambassador for the Brave Foundation at the charity’s launch in Melbourne next week.
But the charity has since announced that due to “unforeseen circumstances” Australia’s first female prime minister will be replaced by former Victorian Liberal premier and Gillard’s fellow beyondblue board member, Jeff Kennett.
The Brave Foundation describes itself as a charity that aims to provide “education, support and resources for teenage and unplanned pregnancy”.
The organisation is headed up by former Liberal Party candidate, Bernadette Black, who said the charity would support teenagers facing unplanned pregnancies.
A website promoting the launch of the charity confirmed that Gillard would no longer be attending.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, The Hon Julia Gillard has informed Brave Foundation that she is unavailable to launch the Charity at Melbourne Town Hall on Friday 13 November 2015,” the website said.
“However, Brave Foundation is extremely pleased to announce that Beyond Blue (sic) Founding Chairman and former Victorian Premier The Hon Jeff Kennett, will attend the breakfast as Brave’s Guest Speaker.
“There is a particular synergy between the two charities as they both support and guide teenagers through potentially difficult periods in their lives.”
A spokesperson for the charity said she was not aware of why Gillard was no longer available to be a part of the launch.
Kennett said in a statement that he supported the work of the Brave Foundation as navigating the teenage years could be a difficult time.
“I want to see all young people get support for their mental and physical health wherever they live and whenever they need it. A website is a great place from which to get information, but if they are concerned about themselves or someone else, they should talk to an adult they trust or make an appointment to see a GP,” Kennett said.
“beyondblue, like the Brave Foundation, has lots of helpful information on its website for expectant and new parents, and there are mental health professionals at our Support Service you can talk to about any concerns you may have 24/7.”
The Brave Foundation has also partnered with Kids Helpline, which offers counseling assistance to anyone under the age of 24.
Bernadette Black said she unexpectedly fell pregnant at 16 and experienced first-hand the stigma associated with a teenage pregnancy and the lack of support and education.
“Throughout my pregnancy, so many people looked at me critically and judgmentally and made me think that I should be embarrassed and ashamed,” she said.
“I desperately searched for support and inspiration from others who had been in my situation but found none.”
Julia Gillard did not respond to Pro Bono Australia News’ requests for comment.
This week Gillard was in Qatar with United States First Lady, Michelle Obama, to talk at the WISE Summit about the education of girls around the world.
— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillardGPE) November 4, 2015