Cathy McGowan (politician)
|Member of the Australian Parliament
7 September 2013
|Preceded by||Sophie Mirabella|
29 November 1953 |
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
|Residence||Indigo Valley, Victoria|
|Profession||Agricultural consultant, farmer|
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." McGowan was also a recipient of the Centenary Medal in 2001.
Early politics and lobbyist work
McGowan worked as a staffer for Indi's Liberal MP Ewen Cameron during the late 1970s and early 1980s. McGowan has also worked as a regional councillor for the Victorian Farmers' Federation and is a former President of Australian Women in Agriculture.
McGowan ran as an independent for the Division of Indi at the 2013 Australian federal election, against the Liberal incumbent Sophie Mirabella. 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.
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. Mirabella was the only Liberal incumbent to lose her seat at the 2013 election. A number of McGowan's supporters are currently under investigation regarding the fact that 27 people enrolled in the voting system in Indi even though they no longer lived in the electorate. 
- ABC - Indi Results VIC - North-east Victoria
- McGOWAN, Catherine
- Cathy McGowan
- Battle 'boost' for Mirabella as she struggles to hold seat
- Cassidy, Barrie. The story of how Cathy McGowan stormed Indi. ABC News, 2013-09-13.
|Parliament of Australia|
|Member for Indi