Julia Gillard's Office Explains The Knitting Photoshoot

Julia Gillard’s office has issued an official statement about newly released Australian Women’s Weekly photos that depicted her knitting a toy kangaroo for the royal family. The photoshoot was widely perceived to have been an incongruous look for the nation’s leader.

The Prime Minister’s Office moved to clarify the circumstances surrounding the shoot.

It said Women’s Weekly took about 400 photographs of Gillard and conducted a wide-ranging, hour-long interview on “her achievements, leadership, misogyny, knitting, the Royal Family and [radio host] Kyle Sandilands”.

The resultant article was published in the magazine this morning. Women’s Weekly also posted an online version of the article, stating that “the request to be shown knitting the roo came from the Prime Minister’s office”.

Here’s the PMO’s explanation:

Women’s Weekly requested an interview and photo shoot in March.

It was suggested by the PMO that a news angle for the story could be the Prime Minister’s gift of a knitting package (wool, patterns, and knitted toy) for Kate Middleton, for the July edition.

Women’s Weekly agreed to the idea of the article.

Women’s Weekly arranged the photo shoot, including requesting that the Prime Minister knit and that her dog, Reuben, attend.

Women’s Weekly claim that the PMO organised the photo shoot … In fact, Women’s Weekly had complete creative control over the photo shoot. The PMO did not rule in or rule out any particular shot.

An estimated 400 shots were taken. Shots of the PM were taken with and without knitting needles and wool, with and without Reuben, and in a formal outfit and an informal outfit. Reuben was also photographed with the knitted roo.

It was entirely Women’s Weekly’s choice to publish the image they did.

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