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Julie Bishop talks politics, fashion, career highlights and needing a hug

Julie Bishop, the tough talking politician with a withering death stare, is a force to be reckoned with.

But beneath the tough exterior, Australia’s first female foreign minister is just like the rest of us. When she’s at home, she just wants a hug.

“We all need people around to provide support and a hug and tell you things are okay, and I’m no different from everybody else in that regard, and family is obviously very important,” she tells Vogue Australia in an exclusive interview out next week.

Dressed in her own Giorgio Armani suit and Balenciaga blouse, complete with Kailis pearl earrings (she must have found the one that went missing), Ms Bishop exudes sophistication.

The West Australian is one of only two women in Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s cabinet.

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It’s a fact that is not lost on Ms Bishop, but she tells Vogue Australia her gender does not determine how she does her job.

“As I often say, I’ve never been a man in this position, how do I compare?,” she says. “I see myself as a parliamentarian and a minister, I have a job to do and I put all that I have into doing it, so being a woman doesn’t play a role in that.

“But I’m proud of the fact that I’m the first female foreign minister.”

When the deputy leader of the Liberal party was asked if she wanted to add the title of Australia’s second female prime minister to her long list of achievements, Ms Bishop the politician responds.

“Everybody asks that question. Why do they ask? I’m very happy with the job that I have,” she says.

She also tells the magazine that she has a “very good, very professional” relationship with the Prime Minister, adding “we’re friends”.

“We’ve worked as a team or part of a team for a very long time,” she says. “We text often. We’ll speak when there’s an issue, I’m travelling a lot, or we’ll have leadership meetings, national security meetings.”

She also reveals in the interview the moment she realised she had made it on the world stage, when she chaired the Security Council at the United Nations of Australia’s behalf.

“That was a special moment in my life,” she says. “I think at that moment it really hit me that yes, I’m here, I’m the foreign minister of Australia.”

Ms Bishop also discusses the challenges she has faced professionally over the past year, including the final conversation she had with Bali Nine duo Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan before they were executed, as well as her feelings towards the rise of young Australians being radicalised by extremist organisations such as ISIS.

“I cannot perceive why a young person would want to leave the opportunities that Australia presents, the security and the relative prosperity that this country offers, to take up with a terrorist organisation that lauds its medieval and barbaric practices of beheadings and crucifixion, rape, mass murder — it’s terrifying,” she says.

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