Julie has lived in the electorate of Curtin for over 26 years, but she grew up on a cherry and apple orchard in the Adelaide Hills.
“It was an idyllic childhood, living on a property with my parents, two sisters and a brother, my grand parents, two uncles and aunties and four cousins. Hard work was the ethic. Some of my earliest memories include working in the orchard picking fruit, rounding up sheep or helping out in the packing shed.”
She attended Basket Range Primary School and St Peter’s Girls’ School for her secondary education and was Head Prefect in Year 12.
Julie obtained a law degree from Adelaide University in 1978.
“Like many University students I held down a couple of part time jobs – including working in the bars at Football Park West Lakes during the football season and in the local hotel and restaurants in the Adelaide Hills. It was character building!”
She worked in the legal profession in Adelaide, becoming a partner of an Adelaide law firm at the age of 26, until moving to Perth in 1983.
“I had great experience as a young lawyer working in many different fields, including the duty solicitor round in the magistrate’s court on Saturday mornings, doing bail applications for those arrested overnight. I enjoyed court work and decided to specialise as a litigation lawyer”.
From 1983 to 1998 Julie worked as a lawyer at Clayton Utz (formally Robinson Cox) specialising in commercial litigation. In 1994 Julie was elected Managing Partner of the Perth office of Clayton Utz, which had 27 partners and about 200 employees at that time.
She represented Clayton Utz Perth at the biannual legal conferences of two international networks of law firms, held in Boston, Washington, Mexico City, Amsterdam, Vienna, Santiago, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney.
“I learned a great deal not only about how other law firms were managed across the world but also the rapidly changing trends in the law, particularly the globalisation of legal practices in the 1990s.”
In 1996 Julie took a sabbatical from the firm for 3 months and attended Harvard Business School Advanced Management Programme for Senior Managers.
“This course was recommended to me by the current chair of National Australia Bank, Michael Chaney, who had attended in 1992. Leading figures from Australia have attended this internationally renowned course including CEO of Fairfax media group Brian McCarthy and Chief of Air Force, Air Marshall Mark Binskin”
In 1998 Julie was appointed a delegate to the Constitutional Convention held in Canberra on the issue of whether Australia should be a republic.
A few months later she was endorsed as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Curtin and won the seat in the General Election held in October 1998.
In 2000 and 2002 Julie was an electoral observer for the Commonwealth of Nations in the parliamentary and presidential elections in Zimbabwe.
In her spare time Julie is a keen runner and takes part in the annual Perth City to Surf fun run. She is an avid West Coast Eagles fan and is on the board of the Club.