Cate McGregor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cate McGregor
Malcolm Gerard McGregor

1956 (age 62–63)
OccupationArmy officer, Air Force officer, author, cricket commentator

Group Captain Catherine McGregor AM is a transgender writer and activist who served as a member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).


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 Archived 22 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine, 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 3 March 2016.
  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. Archived from the original on 10 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  29. ^ Power, Shannon (6 September 2016). "Catherine McGregors angry response to Kaleidoscope Australia sacking". Star Observer. Archived from the original on 7 September 2016. 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.