The best friends met when Robyn McLeod worked in the water industry and Ms Gillard was an industrial lawyer
Here's The Australian newspaper from 26 June 2010 about Robyn McLeod's role in life and for her country - that role is to be Ms Gillard's girlfriend.
Julia Gillard's 'Closest mate' flew to share the big moment
- The Australian
- June 26, 2010
Ms McLeod, who was embroiled in controversy when she switched to part-time employment as SA Water Security Commissioner on the basis that the state no longer had a water crisis, said her role in life "and to my country" was to be Ms Gillard's girlfriend and give her an escape from politics.
"My job is to talk to her about normal things and give her opportunities in life to talk about movies and theatre and restaurants and friends and things like that," she said.
Ms McLeod, who once ran for the Victorian state seat of Mordialloc with Ms Gillard as her campaign manager, insisted that becoming Prime Minister would not change her friend.
"What you see is what you get with her, and while this is an extraordinary honour she has been given, you will always see Julia the way she is," Ms McLeod said. "She has always had the most extraordinary intellect, an enormous capacity, an enormous passion to serve the public."
She laughed when it was suggested she may work in Ms Gillard's office: "We don't have that kind of relationship."
She put their longstanding friendship, which began when Ms McLeod worked in the water industry and Ms Gillard was an industrial lawyer, down to sharing a similar sense of humour and loyalty to each other.
To summarise - the longstanding friendship began when Ms McLeod worked in the water industry.
Ms Gillard was an industrial lawyer at Slater and Gordon from 1987 to 1995 so it has to be between those years.
It's a bit difficult to pin down precisely what Robyn McLeod was doing during the 1990s. Funnily enough I've never seen her set it out precisely.
There are a few dates that we can be fairly sure of.
In 1980 Ms McLeod completed a DipEd and a BEd in 1987.
According to her electoral page on the Emily's List website in early 1999:
In March 1999 Ms McLeod ran for Mordialloc and lost. In December, 1999 she appeared at the infamous $1,000 per head Labor fundraiser as "Robyn McLeod, staff of the Minister for Energy, Resources and Ports.
From 1999 on Ms Mcleod's professional life is fairly busy with full time jobs with the Victorian Government, KPMG and then as South Australia's Water Security Commissioner.
We need to fill in the gaps from 1992 when Ms McLeod became an AWU senior organiser (Bruce Wilson was the State Secretary at that time) and 1999 when she went to work for the Victorian Government.
We know she was "a senior manager in human resources and training in the private sector" in March 1999. So who was she working for?
This extract (below) is from Ms McLeod's 2008 official bio as South Australia's Water Security Commissioner.
Ms McLeod says she met Ms Gillard when she (McLeod) worked in the water industry and Gillard was a lawyer.
If Ms McLeod's Senior Manager position as HR and Training Manager in the Private Sector (disclosed on the Emily's List bio as current in March 1999) was with Thiess Services (as disclosed on her SA Water Commissioner official bio) - then who knows? We could all be in luck!!!
Ms McLeod might be able to explain why Bruce Wilson would be providing workplace reform services to the Melbourne Water project through a WA based incorporated association set up by Ms McLeod's new best friend Julia Gillard. And perhaps what value taxpayers got for the $120,000 that went up against Bruce's various walls.