Local, Independant and Effective

News from Murphy Street March 7

Posted March 07, 2014


Where to start with the highlights from another exciting week in Parliament for Cathy McGowan AO, Federal Member for Indi?

Arriving in Canberra on Monday, Cathy had five speeches to write across a number of topics, community, regional development, the achievements of rural women, and asylum seekers.


Functions were also on Cathy’s agenda, including the Australian Forest Products Assoc and Forest Works ISC Dinner, the Parliamentary Breakfast for International Women's Day, and the Launch of the CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders [Austism CRC].

In Parliament, Cathy praised the Yackandandah Historical Society for the museum extension which was possible through $50,000 local fundraising to get the job off the ground, and everyone involved with the Tolmie Sports Day earlier this year, including the 150 volunteers.

On Wednesday, meeting a young small business owner who’s seen her jewellery enterprise grow across the country left Cathy inspired and confident the future of the country is in good hands. Sally Carlson lives in rural NSW and was one of 10 women involved in business who was invited to speak at a function in Canberra to mark International Women’s Day, which is tomorrow (March 8).

Cathy also used this occasion to speak in Parliament about the “women who bloom where they’re planted”, and the achievements of rural and regional women. She explained in her speech how she learned more about the issues facing rural women when doorknocking during last year’s campaign.  

Following a meeting with the Hume Regional Development Australia committee last week, Cathy told Parliament about the excellent strategic planning the group is doing for the region. This involves reports on freight distribution, a digital strategy, and identifying aspirations and destinations of youth.

“In Indi and the Hume Region, RDA is playing a vital role in coordinating regional planning. They need Government’s continuing support and resources.” Cathy finished her speech by acknowledging Hume RDA committee members and staff for their outstanding work.

At a breakfast on Wednesday, Cathy caught up with Natasha Stott Despoja AM, UN Ambassador for Women and Girls, and Lieutenant General David Morrison AO and invited him to visit Indi.

Following this it was on to meet with another inspirational group, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance and Cathy also extended an invitation to visit Indi.

Cathy raised the asylum seeker issue in Parliament on Thursday. She called for the Federal Government to find a humane solution for the issues arising from the current policy, and urged her colleagues in Parliament to continue to advocate for the better treatment of asylum seekers in detention facilities.

The thrust of her statement, “We can do better and we must do better”, resonated on social media sites and prompted a flurry of responses throughout the day and night.

To end the Canberra week, Cathy and the team met with two groups of mental health advocates to discuss the amazing online therapy platforms that have been developed to assist people dealing with mental health issues.

It seems many people in Indi could benefit from this technology.

This weekend Cathy is officially opening the Tallangatta Agricultural Show, which is now in its 118th year, and on Sunday, she is a guest at the Mighty Mitta Muster, and she looks forward to meeting plenty of people at these significant community events.

Is there a better way to spend a long weekend in March?

And by the way, today marks the sixth-month mark from the September election day.


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