• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0165

Gallagher, Katy

(1970 – ) Australian Servicewomen's Memorial, Canberra
  • Nationality Australian
  • Born 18 March, 1970, Canberra Australian Capital Territory Australia
  • Occupation Parliamentarian, Senator, Union organiser


A member of the Australian Labor Party, Katy Gallagher was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the Parliament of the Australian Capital Territory (A.C.T.), representing the electorate of Molonglo, in October 2001. She was re-elected in 2004, 2008 and 2012 and served as Chief Minister from 16 May 2011 to 2014.

In 2014 Gallagher resigned from the A.C.T. government to seek preselection to the Australian Senate. She was appointed to fill the casual vacancy caused by the retirement of Senator Kate Lundy in 2015, and elected in her own right a year later, in 2016. After a brief interruption during the parliamentary elegibility crisis of 2018, when she was forced to stand down because she had not renounced her British citizenship prior to her nomination in 2016, she was re-elected as Senator for Canberra in 2019.


After receiving her secondary education in Canberra, Gallagher obtained her BA from the Australian National University, graduating in 1990. She was a project worker for the Woden Community Service and from 1994-1997 worked for People First ACT, an organisation providing advocacy and support to individuals with an intellectual disability. She has been active in the community and union sectors for over ten years. She has advocated for both adults and children with intellectual disabilities and for the industrial interests of workers as a Community and Public Sector Union national organiser.

Whilst an MLA for the A.C.T., Gallagher held a variety of portfolios, including Regional Development, Health and Higher Education, Community Services and the Office for Women. She held the positions of Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer before she became Chief Minister in 2011.

As a senator in opposition, Gallagher has served as Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, and Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations. She was promoted to Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services in 2016, the year she was also appointed as Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. In 2020 she served as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19.


Published resources

Archival resources

  • ACT Heritage Library
    • HMSS 0375 Canberra Centenary Time Capsule
    • HMSS 0154 Majura Women's Group Records

Digital resources

Related entries

  • Photographed
    • Smith, Heide (1937 - )
  • Related Concepts
    • Women in Politics: Australian Labor Party