Cathy O’Toole was elected to Federal parliament on the 2nd July 2016 and is the Member for Herbert.
Winning the seat of Herbert was particularly exceptional for O’Toole as the Labor party hadn’t held this seat in twenty years and it was the first time a female had been elected to the seat of Herbert.
O’Toole was born, raised and educated in Townsville with her parents and four siblings in a working class environment. O’Toole grew up in an environment where the principles of social justice and human rights were clearly evident. These values were instilled in her and that everyone deserves the right to a quality education, a job and somewhere to call home.
Starting her working life as an apprentice hairdresser, O’Toole then at the age of eighteen became a small business owner. Together with her husband Dennis, they have since owned and operated a range of small businesses in the retail, hairdressing and vocational education and training industries for many years.
Alongside these commitments, O’Toole worked in the TAFE sector in a teaching and project management role as well as the community sector as a CEO for thirteen years.
Her passion and commitment to lifelong learning encouraged her to continue studying, in which she achieved a range of tertiary education qualifications. Before her election into Parliament, O’Toole was the CEO of a medium sized not for profit mental health organization, which operates in North and West Queensland, including Palm Island.
Cathy O’Toole holds ambitions to continue to fight for job security and workers’ rights; quality education, affordable and accessible health care and childcare, a fair deal for the defence personnel and pensioners and a better deal for small business. O’Toole will endeavor to fight so that the people of Townsville have a strong local voice in Canberra and she will strive to deliver a fair go for all Townsville residents.