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08 March 2022

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High profile forum to consider the value of Independents to Australian democracy

Respected journalist Kerry O’Brien and Cathy McGowan, former Independent Member for Indi, will be part of a panel in Toowoomba next week.


The panel will also feature local physician, Dr Eddie Barui, who arrived in Australia in 1973 as a child with his family, and is hosted by Independent candidate for the Federal seat of Groom, Suzie Holt.


The panel, to be held on Tuesday, March 15 at the Armitage Centre at the Empire Theatre, will discuss the role and influence of Independents in restoring balance to Australian democracy.


Ms Holt said there had been strong interest in the 200-seat event, which had not surprised her.


“Talking to people in our region, there is a lot of interest in the role of independents in Federal parliament and what they can offer for a seat like Groom.


“It will be very inspiring to hear from Cathy McGowan, who comes from a very strong agricultural area like ours, and was successful in winning the formerly safe seat of Indi in Victoria with a true community-driven effort.


“Hearing about her experiences and how she was able to bring strong local representation to her electorate, after it had been taken for granted for too long by party politicians, will be very relevant for our region.”


Ms Holt said that Ms McGowan, who is also a past president of Women in Agriculture, will talk about her experiences in Parliament as an independent and what she and other independents achieved during that time and since.


Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for concession. Tickets can be purchased from

Independent Candidate for the Federal seat of Groom.

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