Cathy Goes to Canberra : Doing Politics Differently
Publication Date: 21 October 2020
Whenever anyone tells you that only the big parties or star candidates have a chance of winning a seat in federal parliament, just say 'Cathy McGowan'. Running as a community-backed independent candidate, Cathy won the previously safe Liberal seat of Indi in 2013 and again in 2016 and passed Indi on to another independent in 2019 - a first in Australian history. Cathy tells how thousands of ordinary men and women in north-eastern Victoria got together, organised themselves and made their voices heard in Canberra.
An inspiring tale and a primer for other communities looking to create change.
About the Author
In 2013 Cathy McGowan became the first female independent to sit on the crossbench, where she would represent the Victorian rural electorate of Indi for six years. Winning the seat of Indi, after the National Party had held the seat for 34 years, was a watershed moment. Indi became 'Exhibit A' for future political campaigns from Kerryn Phelps as the Member for Wentworth to Zali Steggall in Warringah. In 2004 McGowan was made an Officer of the Order of Australia 'for service to the community through raising awareness of and stimulating debate about issues affecting women in regional, rural and remote areas.' McGowan was also a recipient of the Centenary Medal in 2001.