Cate McGregor

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Cate McGregor
BornMalcolm Gerard McGregor
Toowoomba, Queensland[1]
OccupationArmy officer, Air Force officer, author, cricket commentator

Group Captain Catherine "Cate" McGregor AM is a transgender woman, who served as a member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). She has also worked as a cricket commentator.


From 2011 McGregor has been a cricket writer for The Spectator,[2] a cricket commentator for The Australian,[3] and the Australian Financial Review,[4] and the author of a book, An Indian Summer of Cricket, published on 24 November 2012.[5] In a 2012 review, Tony Abbott, then federal Leader of the Opposition, described the book as "the best sort of book about sport" for "those who think that sport can be a metaphor for life". Abbott called the Chief of Army's launch of the book "a fitting salute to [moral] courage"[6]

In late 2016, McGregor resumed her cricket career playing for a Canberra women's cricket team, and stated she wished to play in the Women's Big Bash League.[7][8] It is reported that she uses drug therapy, has high levels of oestrogen and no longer produces testosterone.[8]


In 2012, McGregor was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Military Division for "exceptional service to the Australian Army as the Director of the Land Warfare Studies Centre".[9]

Following a period between 2010 and 2013 when numerous ADF personnel were involved in misogynistic behaviour (including the non-consensual filming of sexual encounters with women),[10] Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison AO responded in a video speech which was written by McGregor.[11] In the speech he described the actions as a "direct contravention" of the Army's values, and said "those who think that it is okay to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have no place in this army." [10]

In 2013, David Morrison "refused to accept her resignation when she went public" as transgender.[12] In November 2013 McGregor was the highest ranking transgender person in the Army, and the speechwriter and strategic adviser for David Morrison.[13]

In 2013 there were a number of social media exchanges involving McGregor[14] for which the Department of Defence made a payment in compensation.[15]

McGregor transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on 20 June 2014 to work on projects for the Chief of Air Force.[16]

In 2015 McGregor, in considering having gender reassignment surgery said, "it’s about being congruent in your identity. I would like to feel whole,"[1] and that any sex change, "will be funded independently with no taxpayer assistance".[17]

Queenslander of the Year[edit]

In 2015 McGregor was named as Queenslander of the Year, despite not living in Queensland,[18] and as such became a finalist for 2016 Australian of the Year,[19] which was subsequently awarded to her previous commanding officer, David Morrison. She described the selection of Morrison as a "weak, conventional choice",[20] a comment for which she subsequently apologised.[21][22]

In December 2016 McGregor was removed from the Australian of the Year honour roll at her request. She has stated that the awards are a "farce" and that she regrets having accepted one.[23] McGregor has also argued that the awards are being used by activists.[24]

Post military career[edit]

McGregor has been appointed as a patron of Kaleidoscope Australia, a not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting and protecting the rights of LGBTI people in the Asia Pacific region[25] and is to move into trans-advocacy, on a full-time basis.[26] In September 2016, it was reported that McGregor had been "sacked" by Kaleidoscope Australia because of her criticism[27] of the Safe Schools program.[28][29] However in May 2018, McGregor declared she had been wrong to oppose the Safe Schools program. "It's an excellent program, and it saves lives." "I should have been a supporter from the start. I regret that I wasn't." "Young trans people need an ally. I could have helped, and I didn't, and I regret that."[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Being Transgender: The secret I kept for 50 years". Australian Women's Weekly. 11 April 2015. Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  2. ^ Malcolm McGregor, The Spectator, 12 November 2011
  3. ^ "Stories by Cate McGregor, Cricket writer". The Australian. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  4. ^ How Malcolm became Cate amidst a passion for cricket and war, Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 24 November 2012
  5. ^ An Indian Summer of Cricket, Barrallier Books, 2012. ISBN 9780987168559
  6. ^ Tradition meets change, Tony Abbott, writing in The Spectator, 24 November 2012
  7. ^ "Catherine McGregor's pitch for the Big Bash at 60 boosted by win in first cricket match". News Ltd. 20 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  8. ^ a b Black, Sarah (20 November 2016). "Transgender cricketer Catherine McGregor sets sights on selection for the Women's Big Bash League". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Media Advisory: Governor-General to Invest Australian Honours and Bravery Recipients 27 April 2012". Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Australian Story - Call Me Cate - Transcript". Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  11. ^ "Transgender Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor speaks out about abuse and support". News Ltd. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  12. ^ Transgender Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor speaks out about abuse and support,, 5 July 2013
  13. ^ "One Plus One (Video)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Transgender Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor counselled after online outburst". News Ltd. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  15. ^ Thomas, Hedly (26 January 2016). "Compensation funding legal battle against Defence". The Australian. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Special invitation to share her story" (PDF). Air Force. Royal Australian Air Force. 19 June 2014. p. 7. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  17. ^ "Australian Defence Force spends $640,000 on gender identity treatment for transitioning troops". Adelaide Now. 11 June 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  18. ^ Thomas, Hedley (29 January 2016). "Cate McGregor's nomination: Canberra, that's in Queensland". The Australian. Retrieved 29 January 2016. (subscription required)
  19. ^ Houghton, Des (9 January 2016). "Opinion: Australian of the Year Queensland finalist Catherine McGregor may raise eyebrows". Courier Mail. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Cate McGregor said choosing David Morrison as Australian of the Year was a 'weak, conventional choice'". Daily Telegraph. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  21. ^ Wroe, David (27 January 2016). "Australian of the Year: Catherine McGregor sorry after saying David Morrison choice was 'weak'".
  22. ^ Beers, Lucy Mae (27 January 2016). "'It was a weak and conventional choice': Australian of the Year finalist says SHE should have won because the country was ready for a trans person". Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  23. ^ "Catherine McGregor removed from Australian of the Year roll of honour". ABC News. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  24. ^ Australian Associated Press (22 December 2016). "Catherine McGregor cut from Australian of the Year honour roll at own request". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  25. ^ "Cate McGregor appointed as patron of Kaleidoscope Australia Human Rights Foundation". Star Observer. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  26. ^ Power, Shannon (27 January 2016). "Cate McGregor apologises for "weak" selection comments of Australian of the Year winner". Star Observer. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  27. ^ "Catherine McGregor speaks out against Safe Schools". Out In Perth. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  28. ^ "Catherine McGregor dropped from LGBT group over anti-Safe School comments". Same Same. 6 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  29. ^ Power, Shannon (6 September 2016). "Catherine McGregors angry response to Kaleidoscope Australia sacking". Star Observer. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  30. ^ Ovington, Caroline (3 May 2018). "Cate McGregor declares herself wrong to oppose Safe Schools". The Australian. Retrieved 3 May 2018.