Lawyer, MP, what’s next for Bishop?

FORMER foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop plans to work in the private and philanthropic sectors following her retirement from politics at the federal election.

In an interview with the Mercury on Tuesday, Ms Bishop ended speculation about her medium-term future by saying she was "clearly" heading in those directions.

There was no mention of the Government-appointed ambassadorial roles for which she has been described as a strong candidate, including gigs as a future governor-general or senior diplomat.

Federal MP and former foreign minister Julie Bishop speaking at the Frankly Women Leadership Forum for International Women's Day Picture: LUKE BOWDEN
Federal MP and former foreign minister Julie Bishop speaking at the Frankly Women Leadership Forum for International Women's Day Picture: LUKE BOWDEN

The trailblazing West Australian was in Hobart to deliver the keynote address at an International Women's Day function held at Wrest Point. About 370 guests attended the inaugural $165 a ticket Frankly Women Leadership Forum.

Afterwards, the 62-year-old said she was looking forward to her next era, beyond politics.

Ms Bishop was the nation's first female foreign affairs minister and first deputy leader of the Liberal Party, serving four leaders during tumultuous times that culminated in last August's leadership switch to Scott Morrison, when she stepped aside from Cabinet.

"Having spent 20 years in a legal career and 20 years in a political career, I think it's time for me to have a third fulfilling and hopefully fabulous career," Ms Bishop said.

"I am leaving at a time of my choosing and I can't ask for more than that."

Julie Bishop. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN
Julie Bishop. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN

Ms Bishop made national headlines last weekend when she declared she would have beaten Labor leader Bill Shorten in the upcoming May poll had her colleagues made her prime minister after ousting former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

But yesterday, wearing trademark red heels, Ms Bishop affirmed her support for Mr Morrison and said she was confident the Coalition would win the election.

She said it was on that basis she was "comfortable" making the decision to retire from politics.

Ms Bishop has previously said she hopes her party will preselect a woman for the long-held seat of Curtin she will abdicate, with Celia Hammond, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Notre Dame, firming as the favourite. The successful candidate will be announced on Monday.

Whatever her next move, the Liberals' most successful woman will go on to have plenty of shoe money. Having served the Parliament for 21 years in a variety of senior roles, Ms Bishop will be entitled to an annual pension estimated at more than $175,000.