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The Indi Way

A behind-the-scenes account of how a rural community found its own voice, elected its own independent representatives, and inspired a national movement that is transforming Australian politics.

Twelve people met for the first time at their local library in the rural and regional electorate of Indi in north-east Victoria one winter’s day in 2012, driven by a growing sense of despair about how their community was being represented. Beginning with shared values, they formed Voices for Indi, and set about engaging everyday people. They didn’t realise that the Indi Way – a new relationship between the community and its member of parliament – was being forged.

With the selection of Cathy McGowan as their independent candidate for the 2013 federal election, they hoped to make one of the safest Liberal seats in the nation marginal. In fact, after a highly innovative grassroots campaign, they delivered the Coalition its only loss. In 2016, McGowan repeated her feat, and in 2019 Indi made history when Helen Haines became the first independent in the Australian parliament to succeed a retiring independent MP. Haines was returned at the 2022 election with an even higher vote, joining the largest-ever cross bench in the House of Representatives.

This is the inside story of of how and why it all began, and has developed, told by many of the people closely involved. It is a revealing account of a community using values-based, respectful processes to rewrite the political playbook. And it shows why others – including over 40 ‘Voices for’ groups, and the Teal independents – have been inspired to do the same.

ISBN: 9781761380341
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Scribe Publications