Katy Gallagher is the Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory. She was first elected to the Legislative Assembly as a Labor Member for Molonglo in November 2001, and joined the Stanhope Ministry in December 2002. In addition to Chief Minister she is also the Minister for Health, Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Higher Education.
Prior to her election, she worked for five years for the Community and Public Sector Union as an Industrial Organiser for Commonwealth public servants. Her career began in the community sector working for People First ACT, an organisation providing advocacy and support to individuals with an intellectual disability. She has also been a project worker for Woden Community Service working with children with disabilities.
Katy has strong connections to Canberra having grown up in the Weston Creek area, attending Duffy Primary School, Melrose High and Stirling College before undertaking a degree at the Australian National University. She currently lives in north Canberra with her partner and three children.
Katy was elected to the position of leader of the ACT Labor party, unopposed, by her colleagues in May 2011 – after the resignation of her friend and mentor, former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope – then voted Chief Minister by the Legislative Assembly and sworn in on Monday 16 May 2011.
Following the ACT Election on 20th October 2012 and the signing of a new Parliamentary Agreement with ACT Greens member Shane Rattenbury, Katy was re-elected by the Legislative Assembly as Chief Minister on Tuesday 6 November 2012.
Previously, Katy has held roles in the ACT Government including Treasurer, Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Women and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS).
As Treasurer she helped steer the ACT through the global financial crisis, delivering record levels of capital works in 2009-10 which has supported jobs and economic activity through the worst of the slow down. As Minister for Community Services she oversaw the review and reinvigoration of child protection services for the ACT’s children and young people. In her role as Minister for Territory and Municipal Services she worked to ensure that the day-to-day services were maintained and that we responded to and invested in the growing needs of the Canberra community.
Prior to the 2012 election, ACT Labor outlined a detailed and ambitious plan for the continued modernisation and expansion of Canberra’s health system. This $1 billion plus programme involves a complete rebuild of the ACT’s health and hospital system – ensuring Canberra is ready for the future. As Minister for Health, it is her job to oversee this project and she is committed to seeing this plan come to fruition, which includes the roll out of Nurse led walk in Centres’ in Tuggeranong and Belconnen and the construction of the new north side University of Canberra Public Hospital.
Taking on responsibility for the newly created ministries of Regional Development and Higher Education, the Chief Minister will be working to expand Canberra’s role as a south east region services hub and diversifying our economy to help alleviate our city’s reliance on the Federal Government.
Read more about Katy on her blog . . .