Cathy McGowan (politician)

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Cathy McGowan
AO MP
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Indi
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 September 2013
Preceded by Sophie Mirabella
Majority 0.25%
Personal details
Born (1953-11-29) 29 November 1953 (age 61)
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Independent
Residence Indigo Valley, Victoria
Occupation Politician
Profession Agricultural consultant, farmer
Website cathymcgowan.com.au

Catherine "Cathy" McGowan AO (born 29 November 1953) is an Australian politician and independent MP for the rural Victorian seat of Indi since the 2013 federal election, defeating Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella.[1][2]

In 2004 she 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."[3] McGowan was also a recipient of the Centenary Medal in 2001.

McGowan has a Masters in Applied Science in Agricultural and Rural Development from the University of Western Sydney.[4]

Politics[edit]

Early politics and lobbyist work[edit]

McGowan worked as a staffer for Indi's Liberal MP Ewen Cameron during the late 1970s and early 1980s.[5] McGowan has also worked as a regional councillor for the Victorian Farmers' Federation and is a former President of Australian Women in Agriculture.[6][7]

Member for Indi[edit]

McGowan ran as an independent for the Division of Indi at the 2013 Australian federal election, against the Liberal incumbent Sophie Mirabella.[8] The seat had long been reckoned as a conservative stronghold; it had been held by a conservative party for all but nine years since Federation, and without interruption since 1931. However, a number of area residents felt Mirabella had taken them for granted. They formed a grassroots organisation, Voice for Indi, that eventually decided to draft an independent to run against Mirabella. After numerous prominent locals turned down the offer, McGowan finally accepted.[9] After eleven days of counting, on 18 September, Mirabella conceded defeat and McGowan claimed victory, winning the seat with a final margin of 431 votes, a two-candidate preferred vote of 50.25 percent.[10][11][11] Mirabella was the only Liberal incumbent to lose her seat at the 2013 election. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Barrie Cassidy described McGowan's candidacy as "a warning to the occupants of safe seats everywhere on both sides of politics."[9]

It was claimed in October 2014 that 20 McGowan supporters who formerly lived in Indi changed their electoral roll details back to Indi.[12] The AEC said at the time that investigations would be "completed soon"[13] however as yet no outcome has been publicised.

Mirabella announced on 11 May 2015 that she would again run for Liberal preselection in Indi for the next Australian federal election,[14] with the outcome to be known in late June 2015.[15]

References[edit]

External Links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Sophie Mirabella
Member for Indi
2013–present
Incumbent