Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Twitter avatar "is special because it's not your traditional formal portrait," remarked director Daryl Karp of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. The photograph was acquired by the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and will be seen at Prime Ministers of Australia gallery.
The avatar was a photograph taken by Sophie Deane, a 12-year-old girl with Down Syndrome, as the two of them spoke back in May 2013. It was donated by the Deane Family to be part of the museum's photo collection.
(photo courtesy of Museum of Australian Democracy)
According to an article from the Museum of Australian Democracy dated Aug of 2013, Sophie took a candid shot of Ms Gillard after she and Victorian Premier Denis Napthine signed the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in May. NDIS secured that Victoria received a rollout of Disability Care.
"Sophie had met Julia the week before at another NDIS event and had taken quite a shine to her; walking around with her, holding her hand and even at one stage sitting on her lap. The PM didn't seem to mind" as told by Joel Deane, Sophie's father.
"What the image shows, I believe, is a real connection between two people-my daughter and the former PM," explained Mr Deane.
Mr Deane shared that during the event Sophie asked permission to borrow his camera. Sophie then approached Ms Gillard. Ms Gillard leaned forward for Sophie and that was when Sophie clicked the camera to take the candid shot.
"She's just like all the other 12-year-olds you know, and just like every other 12-year-old she was really excited to meet the Prime Minister," Sophie's mother Kirsten Deane added.
Mr Deane shared that the photo did not undergo any enhancement. It was taken as how it appeared today.
Mr Deane posted the photo on Facebook and Twitter and it became viral with users sharing and re-tweeting it thousands of times. Ms Gillard's office then reached out to Mr Deane and asked if they can use the photo as Ms Gillard's avatar on her Twitter page.
In May, Ms Gillard talked about meeting Sophie as she gave speech about NDIS.
'DisabilityCare Australia will ensure Sophie and Sandy and so many other young people will have the security and dignity every Australian deserves," Ms Gillard said.
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