Julia Gillard: Australia gets to know its new 'First Bloke'
Australia was learning of the special skills the boyfriend of its new woman prime minister will bring to the new role of "First Bloke".
By Bonnie Malkin in Sydney
Published: 5:50PM BST 25 Jun 2010
Tim Mathieson, a hairdresser turned estate agent and Julia Gillard's boyfriend of four years, gave a glimpse of life at the couple's shared home in Melbourne.
Mr Mathieson said that his hairstyling skills were often called upon at dawn by the Welsh-born Ms Gillard.
"That's my forte, the 5.30am blow wave," he said."Sometimes it's 4.30am, I've learned to blow wave with one eye open or even in my sleep."
As well as tending to the prime ministerial hair, Mr Mathieson is also in change in the kitchen, baking Ms Gillard's favourite meal - a lamb roast - every Friday night.
Miss Gillard met Mr Mathieson at the Heading Out hair salon in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy in 2004, but the pair did not form a relationship until 2006.
Grace Romain, the manager of the salon, said that the pair got to know each other slowly.
"That's how they met, in here," she told. "He was a very bubbly guy. He did styling - cutting and blow-drying.
"I'm just so glad that she chose someone outside of politics. He's such a great guy and I know he will make her very happy."
Mr Mathieson has not been far from Ms Gillard's side since she ousted Kevin Rudd from power on Thursday.
After an early-morning flight to Canberra, he joined Miss Gillard for her swearing-in ceremony, giving her a hug and a quick congratulatory kiss in front of the cameras.
Mr Mathieson was confident in his girlfriend's ability to lead the country.
"She will absolutely be a fantastic prime minister," said. "She has the right mindset and she is very consultative. I am so proud to be her partner."
He also hinted that the pair may decide tie the knot in the future, saying Australia would have to "wait and see".
Ms Gillard, who has been dubbed "La Gillardine" thanks to her swift and effective execution of Mr Rudd's political career, has spent her first full day in office introducing herself to world leaders, including Barack Obama.