How a rural community
sparked a social and political movement
Voices for Indi
As the Liberal National Coalition swept to power in Australia in 2013, one sitting conservative MP was not celebrating on election night.
Right-wing MP Sophie Mirabella was primed to be the incoming government’s Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, but voters in her regional Victorian seat of Indi had other ideas.
The Indi Way talks about how this happened.
In the subsequent 10 years, Australians have become used to seeing bigger crossbenches in our state and federal parliaments as voters turn away from the major parties. The current NSW lower house, for example, has nine independent MPs. In the Federal Parliament, the House of Representatives has 11 non-party MPs, including the current member for Indi, Helen Haines (centre right in main pic).
However, when Ms Haines’s predecessor, Cathy McGowan (centre left in main pic), won Indi, independent success stories were still a rarity.
Ms McGowan won the seat in 2013 and 2016. Then, in an Australian first, it went from independent MP to independent MP when Ms Haines won in 2019.
Ms Haines won the seat again in 2022, an election in which her success was repeated throughout Melbourne, Sydney and Perth as independent women candidates unseated conservative opponents, mostly men, in supposedly unloseable seats.
This book, with chapters written by different members of the team behind the four successive election victories, starts with the early meetings to overturn the unpopular Ms Mirabella and her party, which was perceived to have neglected a supposedly safe seat.
More than a book about politics, The Indi Way is about community, passion and determination.