Kevin Rudd

Quick Facts

  • Prime Minister: 3 December 2007 – 24 June 2010
  • Name: Kevin Michael Rudd
  • Born: 21 September 1957, Nambour, Queensland
  • Delivered an apology to Indigenous Australians for the Stolen Generations on 13 February 2008
  • Signed the Kyoto Protocol in December 2007
  • Fluent in Mandarin.


Kevin Rudd's involvement with the Australian Labor Party began when he joined the Party in 1972, aged 15. He graduated from university with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Asian Studies) in 1981.

Prior to entering Parliament he worked as a diplomat, serving in the Australian embassy in Stockholm and later in the embassy in Beijing. He also worked as a senior official in the Queensland Government, and as a consultant helping Australian firms to establish and build their business links in China. In 1988 he became Chief of Staff to the Hon Wayne Goss, the Queensland Opposition Leader.

Kevin Rudd first contested the Federal seat of Griffith for the Australian Labor Party in 1996, where he was defeated. He again contested the same seat in 1998, and this time was elected to Parliament. He immediately became Chair of the Parliamentary Labor Party’s Committee on National Security & Trade and served on a variety of parliamentary committees and taskforces. Following the November 2001 election, Rudd was appointed Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, subsequently adding responsibilities for International Security in 2003 and Trade in 2005.

Kevin Rudd became leader of the Australian Labor Party on 4 December 2006 and led the party to victory at the 2007 federal elections. Two of the first acts by the Rudd government included the signing of  the Kyoto Protocol (a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and delivering an apology to Indigenous Australians for the Stolen Generations. WorkChoices, the previous government's industrial relations legislation, was substantially dismantled and Australia's remaining combat personnel in Iraq were withdrawn. The government provided economic stimulus packages in response to the Global Financial Crisis and Australia was one of the few OECD nations to avoid experiencing a recession during the late 2000s.

Rudd was Prime Minister from December 2007 to June 2010. He stepped down as party leader and Prime Minister the day after his deputy, Julia Gillard, announced that she would contest the leadership in a caucus ballot. Rudd was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs in Gillard's government after the 2010 election but subsequently resigned after speculation of a leadership spill. Rudd was defeated in the ballot and remains in Parliament.



Macklin, Robert 2007, Kevin Rudd - the biography, Penguin Books Australia