V4I endorsed Cathy McGowan as an independent candidate for the first time at the 2013 election. V4I continues to support Cathy as the Federal Member for Indi as she remains committed to honest, respectful and constructive politics based on inclusion, valuing all voices and true representation of her constituents as sought by the community that elected her.
Voices for Indi is a community movement, initiated in 2012, to build a voice in our democracy for the people of Indi. It was during the 2013 process of Kitchen Table Conversations, culminating in the V4I report, that interest developed in seeking an independent candidate who would be aligned with the values and issues that people in Indi said were important to them.
V4I was the catalyst for Cathy McGowan’s campaign, however the campaign was conducted by a group of over seven hundred people, far bigger and broader than V4I.
Voices for Indi is a community group, not a political party. V4I has a long term goal of building community participation in politics and democracy regardless of age, geography or political party allegiance. Consistent with V4I values, we welcome Cathy McGowan’s style of engagement with people across the electorate and her encouragement of their direct input into current issues and opportunities. We also welcome the transparency of Cathy McGowan’s voting record in Parliament and her regular addresses to the Parliament on issues and achievements in Indi. Politics is now done differently in Indi and we are collectively proud of what has become known as ‘The Indi Way’.
Voices for Indi is a community group which continually engages with and invites representation of all political parties to attend its events and to participate in this community movement. V4I is focused on increasing participation in politics and actively encourages everyone, particularly young people of any or no political persuasion to get involved with the democratic process, to enrol and to vote.
V4I seeks to encourage individual people to find their voice, express it, engage and be heard by all politicians and to experience how their involvement can influence development of policy positions and the Member of Parliament’s voting patterns.
Voices for Indi has confidence in Cathy McGowan’s style of representation. She is adhering to the people’s expectations of their Member of Parliament, as documented in the 2013 Voices for Indi report. Many people in Indi stated that they want a local political representative who truly represents the electorate, is strongly connected to the community, is accessible, visible, responsive and pro-active and is their voice in the political process. Respect for the people in the electorate and being worthy of their respect, as well as listening, being honest, polite and always working with integrity are seen as critical. The electorate wants someone who has a strong set of values, a moral compass and is prepared to ‘walk the talk’.
Voices for Indi is a community democracy movement, not a campaign team. Some individual members of the V4I team were also active leaders in the Cathy McGowan election campaigns in 2013 and 2016, while others were less involved. Similarly, some have previous memberships of political parties and others do not. It is anticipated that some individual members of V4I will choose to remain actively involved in future election campaigns, whilst others may stay more focused on the broader work of V4I.
Voices for Indi exists to build an active 21st century democracy in Indi and will be involved in every election for the long term.
- V4I will continue to develop a lens to focus the impact of government policy on rural and regional communities. V4I believes that if the people in Indi and other rural and regional areas don’t hold this focus, no one is going to do it for us.
- V4I is about the people not parties and about we the people, having the greatest influence. This is critically important in this political era when business, vested interests and lobbyists have increasing influence on the major political parties and many Members of Parliament are bound to make decisions based on party policy with little or no community consultation
- V4I will continue to focus on encouraging young people to enrol to vote. There are still many young people nationwide disconnected and disillusioned about politics and V4I seeks to build a democracy in which people of all ages want to engage.
Only a few years ago Indi was ignored by both major political parties, it was an electoral backwater. A long-held Liberal seat with seemingly no real choice for voters. That all changed in 2013 when the community engaged with a new way of doing politics and elected an Independent against all odds. Today ‘The Indi Way’ is known across the country as an example of modern democracy at work and there is constant interest and reference to Indi in state and national media. The people of Indi are now heard in a positive and constructive way and many other electorates are seeking to achieve the same result.
V4I is also known for facilitating a range of innovative events and activities designed to encourage participatory democracy.