About The Community Independents Project

What is the Community Independents Project?

The Community Independents Project is a collaboration to enable communities and Community Independent candidates to build participatory democracy and conduct successful election campaigns. The starting point was the election in 2013 of Cathy McGowan as a Community Independent to the Federal seat of Indi. This was followed by the election in 2019 of Helen Haines and Zali Steggall.

What Cathy and Helen have achieved in a regional seat over three successive elections, and Zali Steggall in Warringah, has inspired a nationwide movement.

In February 2021 the inaugural Community-minded Independents Convention “Getting Elected” attracted over 300 participants across 78 federal electorates.

At the Convention participants asked for the knowledge sharing and network building to continue. In response, four members of the organising committee established The Community Independents Project as a Proprietary Limited company. The Project will continue the work of the Convention to change the Australian political landscape.

The Community Independents Project Team values respect, optimism, accountability, integrity and representatives who reflect the values and views of their electorates and are answerable to them.

The Community Independents Project Team

The Community Independents Project provides a unique opportunity to build a national network focused on community-minded politics. This network of like-minded people will share skills and knowledge, and work together to change Australia for the better by electing more Community Independents. 

We invite you to join us in our commitment to help Australian politics reach its potential.

The Community Independents Project is steered by a highly skilled team.

Cathy McGowan AO

Cathy McGowan AO

Project Team Member

In 2013, Cathy broke the Liberal/National Coalition’s hold on the seat of Indi, successfully becoming the first independent member for the north-east Victorian electorate. Author of “Cathy Goes to Canberra,“ and Convenor of the “Getting Elected” Convention.

Alana Johnson AM

Alana Johnson AM

Project Team Member

Alana has a background in social science and psychotherapy, leadership and governance training. A social activist and change expert she is Chair of the Victorian Women’s Trust and co-founder and past President of Voices for Indi.

Tina Jackson

Tina Jackson

Project Team Member

Tina has a background in management, membership organisations and community engagement. She was a key member of the successful 2019 Warringah Campaign and is COO of Warringah Independent (the campaign entity supporting Zali Steggall). 

Jill Briggs

Jill Briggs

Project Manager

Jill Briggs is the Executive Director of Affectus a company committed to making a difference through developing leaders. She is most happy when working with groups of people who wish to chart a future course. She is a skilled, experienced and high-energy, workshop facilitator