Katy Gallagher


Katy Gallagher

Katy Gallagher (born March 17, 1970) is an Australian politician. She has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly since 2001, representing the electorate of Molonglo. She is the current Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Health.

Gallagher was born and raised in the Weston Creek district of Canberra, and studied political science and sociology at the Australian National University. She was initially employed as a social worker, assisting with a community life skills project and working with children with disabilities. From 1994 to 1997, she worked as an advocate for People First ACT, a support and advocacy organisation for the intellectually disabled. Around this time, Gallagher became involved in the labour movement. She became active in the ALP and took on a position with the Community and Public Sector Union, first working as a case manager and then a national organiser. Gallagher's boyfriend, Brett Seaman, was killed while bike riding in Merimbula 1997. The union movement paid for Seaman's funeral (he was also a CPSU organiser), as well as legal costs to prosecute the driver responsible for the accident.

In 2001, Gallagher won pre-selection as one of the Labor candidates for the electorate of Molonglo at the election that year. Labor already had two incumbents from Molonglo, but the party increased its vote, and Gallagher was able to take a third seat that had been vacated by retiring long-serving independent Michael Moore. The election saw a Labor government come to power at the hands of new Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, and Stanhope later appointed Gallagher as one of his three ministers.

As an MLA, Gallagher chaired the Select Committee into the Status of Women in the ACT, which produced a lengthy report responding to a variety of issues. In 2002, she was instrumental in campaigning for the passage of laws which successfully decriminalised abortion in the ACT. She improved her vote at the 2004 election, being the first elected ALP member in Molonglo.

Gallagher gave birth to a second child on January 11, 2006, becoming the first member of the Assembly to give birth while in office. She was promoted to Deputy Chief Minister in April 2006, becoming the first member of the party's left faction to serve in a leadership position in the ACT. She also switched from education to health, which freed her former portfolio for newly elected MP Andrew Barr.

References

*"The Canberra Times", January 12, 2006, p5: "Assembly first as Gallagher gives birth"

External links

* [http://www.katygallagher.net/ Official site]


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