1 Oct 2013

Candid moments as PM shared by Gillard

8:00 am on 1 October 2013

Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard captivated an audience at the Sydney Opera House on Monday night with witty tales from her time in the job.

As prime minister she spent hours delivering meticulously crafted statements and articulate messages.

But even holding the highest role in public office does not save you from the odd instance of foot in mouth.

AAP reports one occurred during her first encounter with President Barack Obama.

"He said to me 'You know I really envy ... your question time'," she recalled. "To which I said, instantaneously, 'Are you mad?'

"And then the second it was out of my mouth I thought that was kind of a really dumb thing to say to the leader of the free world. Fortunately he laughed."

It was one of many anecdotes revealed during a candid interview with Dr Anne Summers.

In her first public appearance since Kevin Rudd seized the prime ministership in June, Ms Gillard was greeted with a thunderous applause from a overwhelming female audience.

Dr Summers said the audience saw a very warm and witty person.

"I guess its a side of her if there had been more on display while she was Prime Minister maybe people might have thought differently about her," she said after the interview.

Dr Summers will interview Ms Gillard at another forum in Melbourne on Tuesday night.