Cathy is a director of The Community Independents Project. The project’s three conventions are a treasure trove of “how to” questions answered, topics discussed, challenges addressed and inspiration and motivation for how to become involved, run a community campaign, be a candidate, get elected, represent, put the community at the centre, be an MP.
These conventions are essential viewing for all those interested in improving democracy by engaging their community.
Video coming soon…
Cathy McGowan presented the opening address to Getting Elected: the first national convention for community-minded independents.
Video coming soon…
Voice 4 Indi report explores the outcomes of the Indi Kitchen Table Conversations, a series of discussions among 440 people across the electorate of Indi in 2013, focused on highlighting the issues that mattered to local people in the electoral process and the 2013 federal election.
Indi Community Summit Report: Delivering our Vision summarises the outcomes of the inaugural Indi Community Summit, 2015. The summit brought together diverse segments of the Indi community to pool their wisdom, experience and ideas and formulate a community perspective of action needed to make the Indi electorate a prosperous, caring community alive with opportunities for all.
Getting things done: the Indi Way is a case study, prepared by Cathy McGowan’s office, showcasing practical examples of Indi communities and their elected federal representative working together to resolve issues, and turn their collective vision into reality.
In 2022, Australian Story records the story of Cathy as she travelled the country supporting community independents in their campaigns to put community at the centre of politics.
As Barrie Cassidy says in his introduction, “When Cathy McGowan won the seat of Indi in 2013, she had no idea that she would become a lightning rod for an independent movement that is now dominating Australian Politics. More than 23 so-called teal or community independent candidates are standing in this election and Ms McGowan has been their ‘secret weapon.’
For Cathy McGowan, change doesn’t come about by waiting for government. Nor for that matter, perfecting theories… it’s simply doing. And sticking it out when the work isn’t sexy, incremental, and the outcome seems unlikely.
It’s something she learnt around this time a decade ago when she toppled a long-standing incumbent in the Victorian seat of Indi — and became Australia’s first-elected female independent.
In this National Museum of Australia address, McGowan explains her success wasn’t about her. Instead, why it was her community that was central to her campaign, and subsequent parliamentary terms.
Australia reMADE was thrilled to sit down with two leaders from Indi, to learn what they had to say about rekindling our power as citizens to build the democracy we dream of; and how a politics based on integrity, engagement, kindness and radical trust can not only win, but transform.
Whether the tipping point came after watching television, listening to or reading the news, across Australia people are finding their voice and creating pathways to new futures. Here are the stories of those moments from some of the people who in 2019 are standing as Independents, campaigning for them, writing about them or all of the above.