McKinnon Prize 2023 Selection Panel

Cathy McGowan AO

Cathy came to national attention when she won the seat of Indi as an independent in 2013.  The community backed her again in 2016.  In 2019 Indi made Australian political history when Dr Helen Haines was elected as Indi’s second, independent woman. During her time as a politician Cathy actively worked in Parliament to develop policy around regional development, constitutional change for first nations people and a solution to the indefinite detention of asylum seekers.  In 2019 she was awarded The Accountability Round Table award for political integrity. Cathy is Chair of the agriculture research and development corporation AgriFutures, Director of The Community Independents Project, she is an Officer in the Order of Australia, a Churchill fellow and lives very happily on her farm the Indigo Valley in NE Victoria.