Katy Gallagher

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The Honourable
Katy Gallagher
MLA
Katy Gallagher.jpg
6th Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory
Incumbent
Assumed office
16 May 2011
Deputy Andrew Barr
Preceded by Jon Stanhope
10th Deputy Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory
In office
20 April 2006 – 16 May 2011
Preceded by Ted Quinlan
Succeeded by Andrew Barr
7th Treasurer of the Australian Capital Territory
In office
11 November 2008 – 30 June 2011
Preceded by Jon Stanhope
Succeeded by Andrew Barr
9th Minister for Health
Incumbent
Assumed office
20 April 2006
Preceded by Simon Corbell
Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly
Incumbent
Assumed office
20 October 2001
Constituency Molonglo
Personal details
Born Katherine Ruth Gallagher[1]
(1970-03-17) 17 March 1970 (age 44)
Weston Creek, Canberra
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Dave Skinner
Children 2 (f), 1 (m)
Alma mater Australian National University
Profession Social worker, union organiser
Website ACT Labor - People: Katy Gallagher

Katherine Ruth "Katy" Gallagher (born 17 March 1970), an Australian politician, is the sixth and current Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory and a member of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly since 2001, representing the electorate of Molonglo for the Australian Labor Party.[2] She is also Minister for Health, and Minister for Higher Education and Minister for Regional Development.

Early years and background[edit]

Gallagher was born and raised in the Weston Creek district of Canberra. She was educated in Duffy, and at Melrose High School and Stirling College (now Canberra College (Weston Campus)), before completing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology at the Australian National University in 1990.[3]

She was initially employed as a social worker, assisting with a community life skills project and working with children with disabilities. From 1994 to 1997, she worked as an advocate for People First ACT, a support and advocacy organisation for the intellectually disabled. Around this time, Gallagher became involved in the labour movement,[3] and took on a position with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), first working as a case manager and then a national organiser.

In 1997, Gallagher's fiance, Brett Seaman (also a CPSU organiser), was killed in a cycling accident in Merimbula. At the time, Gallagher was 13 weeks pregnant with her first daughter. An 86-year old female pensioner narrowly escaped a jail term for dangerous and irresponsible driving for the crash. The union movement assisted Gallagher with the funeral and court case that followed the accident.[4]

Political career[edit]

The support provided to Gallagher by the Labor Party and union movement inspired her to run for pre-selection as one of the Labor candidates for the electorate of Molonglo for the 2001 ACT general election.[4] At the time, Labor had two incumbent members in the Assembly representing Molonglo. Long-serving independent Michael Moore retired at the election. The election saw Labor come to power, led by Jon Stanhope. Despite Gallagher winning just 4.38% of the first preference vote,[5] following distribution of preferences, Gallagher was elected as the fifth member to the seven member seat, behind Humphries, Tucker, Corbell, and Quinlan.[6]

Gallagher was appointed to the second arrangement of the first Stanhope ministry on 23 December 2002,[7] when she was given the portfolios of education, youth and family services; women; and industrial relations. A minor change on 26 May 2004 saw Gallagher's ministry for education, youth and family services divided into separate responsibilities.[8]

At the 2004 ACT general election, Gallagher polled strongly, generating 11.59% of the first preference vote[9] and was the first candidate elected to represent Molonglo in the Assembly, ahead of both Labor colleagues, Quinlan and Corbell.[10] Gallager's ministerial responsibilities were unchanged in the first arrangement of the second Stanhope ministry and, on 20 April 2006, following the retirement of Ted Quinlan, she was promoted to Deputy Chief Minister with ministerial responsibilities including health, disability and community services, and women.[11] The ministry for children and young people was restored to Gallagher's responsibilities on 17 April 2007.[11]

At the 2008 ACT general election, Gallagher again polled strongly, generating 15.78% of the first preference vote[12] and was the second candidate elected to represent Molonglo in the Assembly, behind Liberal leader, Seselja.[13] In the third Stanhope ministry, Gallagher took on ministerial responsibility for treasury, in addition to retaining both health and women;[14] whilst a subsequent reshuffle on 9 November 2009 saw her resume ministerial responsibility for industrial relations and lose the portfolio of women.[15]

Minister for Health[edit]

Amid allegations of bullying, it was reported in early 2010 that nine obstetricians had resigned from Canberra Hospital in the preceding 13 months.[16] The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists called on Gallagher to conduct an external, transparent review of the hospital; and, although initially denying the claims,[17] Gallagher agreed to two external reviews, one to look at workplace issues and the other to investigate patient outcomes.[18] The patient outcome review, when handed down in August 2010, sharply criticised hospital management with regards to workload, but stated that patient care was adequate.[19][20] A number of months earlier, Gallagher faced pressure from the Catholic Church, following an agreement that the ACT Government would purchase Calvary Hospital (in Bruce) from the Little Company of Mary Health Care (LCMHC) - an independent arm of the Church - for $77m. Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell claimed that the Government's motives were ideological and driven by anti-Christian elements.[21] Gallagher denied the claims. A dispute subsequently arose between LCMHC and the Government over an accounting concession[22] and the government withdrew from the purchase.[23] The culmination of these matters led the Liberal leader, Zed Seselja, on 17 August 2010, to move a no confidence vote in the Assembly against Gallagher as Minister for Health as follows:[24]

"That this Assembly no longer has confidence in the Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher, for her continued neglect of the Health portfolio, most particularly...... management failure, staff bullying, over working, and poor processes;....complete failure in the Calvary Hospital purchase;....and many instances of attacking those who made complaints, ignoring those who gave advice, and dealing with the problems through denial and neglect;....and the ongoing poor performance of the ACT health system...."

The motion was defeated (five in favour, nine against), with the ACT Greens supporting the Government.[25]

Chief Minister[edit]

On 12 May 2011, while Gallagher was Deputy Chief Minister, the current Chief Minister at the time, Jon Stanhope, resigned. On 16 May 2011, Gallagher was elected by the Assembly as the ACT's 6th Chief Minister and 3rd female Chief Minister.[26] The ALP won an additional seat in the 2012 Australian Capital Territory general election, and remained in government after securing the support of the sole remaining Green MLA.

Personal life[edit]

Gallagher was previously engaged to Brett Seaman, who died in a road accident in 1997.[4] She is married to Dave Skinner and has three children: Abigail, Charlie and Evie.[27][28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2012/2013 Annual Returns, Elections ACT, 29 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Members of the ACT Legislative Assembly". ACT Legislative Assembly. 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  3. ^ a b "Katy Gallagher". ACT Labor People. Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch). Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  4. ^ a b c Bellamy, Elizabeth (13 January 2006). "Katy's bundle of joy taking life at a leisurely pace". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Electorate of Molonglo First Preference Results". 2001 ACT Election. ACT Electoral Commission. 2001. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  6. ^ "Voting Data". 2001 ACT Election. ACT Electoral Commission. 2001. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  7. ^ "Notification of Appointment of Ministers NI 2002 No 401". ACT Gazette (ACT Legislative Assembly). 2002-401. 2002-12-23. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  8. ^ "Notification of Appointment of Ministers NI 2004 No 157". ACT Gazette (ACT Legislative Assembly). 2004-157. 2004-05-26. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  9. ^ "Electorate of Molonglo First Preference Results". 2004 ACT Election. ACT Electoral Commission. 2004. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  10. ^ "Voting Data". 2004 ACT Election. ACT Electoral Commission. 2004. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  11. ^ a b "Notification of Appointment of Ministers NI 2006 No 142". ACT Gazette (ACT Legislative Assembly). 2006-142. 2006-04-20. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  12. ^ "Table 1.8 First preference votes by candidate/vote type: Molonglo". 2008 ACT Legislative Assembly Election. ACT Electoral Commission. 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  13. ^ "Distribution of preferences". 2008 ACT Legislative Assembly Election. ACT Electoral Commission. 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  14. ^ "Notification of Appointment of Ministers NI 2008 No 527". ACT Gazette (ACT Legislative Assembly). 2008-527. 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  15. ^ "Notification of Appointment of Ministers NI 2009 No 562". ACT Gazette (ACT Legislative Assembly). 2009-562. 2009-11-09. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  16. ^ Dodgson, Joanne (2010-02-17). "Obstetricians quit amid bullying claims". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  17. ^ McLintock, Penny (2010-02-17). "'No complaints to investigate': Gallagher". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  18. ^ McLintock, Penny (2010-02-22). "Hospital to review bullying claims". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  19. ^ "Damning review of maternity services". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2010-08-06. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  20. ^ Jean, Peter (2010-08-06). "Maternity staff in crisis". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  21. ^ "Calvary sale 'driven by anti-Christian elements". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  22. ^ Kretowiczk, Ewa (2010-08-20). "Govt rethinks delivery of hospital services". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  23. ^ Towell, Noel (2010-08-14). "No deal: Calvary buy-out cancelled". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  24. ^ "Assembly Debate - 17/08/2010". ACT Hansard. ACT Legislative Assembly. 2010-08-17. pp. p3324–562. Retrieved 2010-08-21. [dead link]
  25. ^ "Health Minister bats off no confidence motion". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2010-08-17. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  26. ^ "Minutes of Proceedings - Monday, 16 May 2011". Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory. 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  27. ^ "Katy Gallagher, MLA". ACT Chief Minister. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  28. ^ Towell, Noel (16 May 2011). "Gallagher elected Chief Minister". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Ted Quinlan
Deputy Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory
2006–2011
Succeeded by
Andrew Barr
Preceded by
Simon Corbell
Minister for Health
2006–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Jon Stanhope
Treasurer of the Australian Capital Territory
2008–2011
Succeeded by
Andrew Barr
Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory
2011–present
Incumbent