The Hon Catherine Cusack MLC

on Monday, 09 February 2015. Posted in Sustaining Women's Empowerment in Communities and Organisations

The Hon Catherine Cusack MLC

ACLW's 2015 SWECO Awards will be hosted by The Hon Catherine Cusack MLC on 6 March 15 at Parliament House Sydney.

Catherine lives at Lennox Head on the NSW Far North Coast. She grew up on a farm in rural NSW, obtained her economics degree from the University of Sydney and was elected the first ever female State President of the NSW Young Liberals in 1985.

Prior to Parliament Catherine held various policy positions in Government and the private sector, and in 1996 established "Wordsworks" - her own professional writing business with corporate and government clients.

Catherine was elected to the NSW Legislative Council (Upper House) in 2003 and re-elected in 2011.

Prior to the election of the O'Farrell Government Catherine served on the Opposition front bench for 8 years variously in the Juvenile Justice, Fair Trading and Environment portfolios. With the election of the O'Farrell Government in 2011 she was appointed Chair of the important Joint Parliamentary Committee oversighting the Ombudsman, Police Integrity Commission, Inspector of Corrective Services, Privacy Commissioner, Information Commissioner and NSW Crime Commission. In 2013 she was appointed by Premier Baird as Parliamentary Secretary for Tertiary Education and Skills, with a special focus on International students - the State's second biggest export earner after coal.

Catherine has been a columnist for the Sunday Telegraph, is Chair of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians representing all Australian female MPs, and enjoys camping particularly in Outback National Parks. She is married to Chris Crawford, CEO of Northern Rivers Local Area Health Service they have two strapping sons - one at university and the other completing his HSC.