Cate Faehrmann

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Cate Faehrmann
Cate Faehrmann, NSW Greens MP.jpg
Chief of staff to Richard Di Natale
Assumed office
25 May 2015
Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council
In office
7 September 2010 – 18 June 2013
Preceded by Lee Rhiannon
Succeeded by Mehreen Faruqi
Personal details
Born (1970-03-17) 17 March 1970 (age 47)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Greens New South Wales
Website Cate Faehrmann

Cate Faehrmann (born 17 March 1970)[1] is an Australian politician, environmental activist and the chairperson of Sea Shepherd Australia. Faehrmann was a Greens New South Wales member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 2011 to 2013.[2] She resigned from the Legislative Council in June 2013 in order to stand for the Australian Senate at the 2013 federal election, but was unsuccessful. She now works in the office of the Leader of the Australian Greens Richard Di Natale as his chief of staff.

Early life[edit]

Faehrmann was born in Darlinghurst, New South Wales and spent her childhood in a small country town west of Brisbane. Her adoptive parents ran the local chemist, and she attended a Toowoomba boarding high school.[3]

She attended Griffith University in Queensland, where she worked to establish a Women's Collective on campus, and was active in pro-choice campaigns at the time.[1] She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University.

She was a founding board member of the progressive political organisation GetUp in 2005, and was also on the board of the public interest environmental law firm, the Environmental Defenders Office of NSW from 2004 onwards.[citation needed]

In 2005 she was appointed executive director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.[4] While heading up the Council, Faehrmann launched the Walk Against Warming initiative,[5] an annual community call to action on tackling climate change, which drew crowds of tens of thousands in Sydney in other cities across Australia and the world.

Political career[edit]

Between 2001 and 2005, Faehrmann worked as a media advisor and campaign coordinator for the Greens party in South Australia, New South Wales and New Zealand.[3]

She was preselected to fill the casual vacancy left by the resignation of Lee Rhiannon and took her place in the NSW Legislative Council in September 2010.

Following the 2011 state election, Faehrmann published a controversial opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald in which she was critical of the Greens' campaign strategy. She encouraged a period of internal reflection, writing: "The necessary soul searching is not just about the party's future fortunes. Climate change, the loss of native plants and animals, the need to foster healthy communities, the reduction of air and water pollution, and the creation of a sustainable economy, are urgent challenges. We must be a party of government within one generation. If we are to reach our potential within the next couple of elections, we need to be honest about our mistakes and learn from them. The party's handling of the boycott, divestment and sanctions policy against Israel was an unnecessary distraction from issues relevant to a state election."[6]

As a member of the Legislative Council, Faehrmann's portfolio responsibilities within the Greens included: Environment, Transport, Healthy Lifestyles (incl. Dental Health, Drugs and Harm Minimisation), Roads and Ports, Status of Women, Sexuality and Gender Identity, Multiculturalism and Animal Welfare. As of May 2011 all NSW Greens MPs share portfolio responsibility for climate change.[7]

Faehrmann was preselected in a statewide postal ballot of members to be the Greens lead Senate candidate for NSW in the 2013 federal election.[8] For this reason she resigned her seat from the NSW Parliament in June 2013, to prepare for the coming election. Faehrmann's vacated seat was filled by fellow Greens member, Mehreen Faruqi. Faehrmann failed to win her senate seat.

In 2014, Faehrmann replaced Bob Brown as chairperson of Sea Shepherd Australia.[9]

On 25 May 2015, she was announced as the chief of staff to newly appointed Greens leader, Richard Di Natale.[10]


  1. ^ a b "My inaugural speech". 21 September 2010. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ms Cate Faehrmann". Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Financial Review – News Store". 22 April 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Nature Conservation Council of NSW – Contact Us – Cate Faehrmann". Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Women of Style". Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Greens won't get much further if we repeat poll blunders". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Portfolios | John Kaye MLC". Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Greens state MP lines up for Senate". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  9. ^ "Former Greens leader Bob Brown steps down as chairman of anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd". ABC News. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bob Brown
Chairperson of Sea Shepherd Australia