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Prime Minister Julia Gillard looked upbeat and confident in her first public appearance since her father's death.

After a week off politics to mourn her late father, John, she was warmly welcomed back to the circuit with a kiss on the cheek by Treasurer Wayne Swan at the Queensland ALP State conference.

The party faithful showed their support with a long standing ovation as she took the stage.

"It is good to be amongst friends at the end of what has been a long and sad week," she told the conference.

"I want to ... thank the Labor family for all of the expressions of condolences."

Ms Gillard paid tribute to her father for instilling the value of public service in her, from his work in the coal mines in Wales to his time as a psychiatric nurse.

"My father, John, was a great Labor man," she said.