FORMER Australian prime minister Julia Gillard has reminisced about her early childhood in Barry, following a visit to her home town on Tuesday, October 8.

Ms Gillard, who led Australia from 2010 to 2013 and is now an internationally renowned equalities campaigner, has been in Wales this week where she met first minister, Mark Drakeford and attended the Welsh Government’s cabinet meeting.

The meeting discussed the Government’s efforts to create a gender equal Wales, drawing on Ms Gillard’s own experiences of tackling sexism, misogyny, and gender inequality.

They also discussed the opportunities that the Well-being of Future Generations Act provides to tackle gender inequality.

Ms Gillard lived in Queen Street, Barry, until her family emigrated to Australia in 1966 - when she was four years old - under the assisted passage migrants scheme.

Her father John and mother Moira decided on the move when the family doctor recommended fresh air, after the young Julia suffered a bout of bronchial pneumonia, settling in Adelaide along with her elder sister Alison.

She was Australia’s first female prime minister and the 27th to hold the top position.

She said: “It’s lovely to be back.

“I was last here in 2015 so not that long ago.”

Ms Gillard was informed that women were well represented, with leadership roles, in the Welsh Assembly and that there were more women than men at Barry Town Council.

She viewed a letter she had written to Barry, after becoming Australia’s prime minister, watched a video about Barry and signed the Town Council’s visitors’ book, before leaving to take a visit to her former home in Queen Street, Barry.

She said she had memories of her parents telling her of the town’s hills, her pram being pushed along Queen Street, and she said Barry had a strong sense of community.

“It’s not just about Gavin & Stacey, but people love it in Australia – and the accents.”

On giving advice to people, she said: “Everybody should do things with fortitude.

“You should always try to do your best personally and it’s important to stay true to your values.”

Ms Gillard was accompanied on her visit by Vale AM Jane Hutt, Barry mayor Cllr Margaret Wilkinson; and mayor consort, Cllr Jayne Norman.