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FAQ

Macksvillle Bridge Hewysurf Photography

Voices 4 Cowper (V4C) is a non-party-political incorporated association with membership from across the Cowper electorate. We came together out of a shared desire for a more meaningful connection between the people of Cowper and our political representatives.

We have no affiliation with any political party.

The formation of V4C was inspired by the work of Mary Crooks of the Victorian Women’s Trust, and the subsequent work of Voices4Indi and Voices of Warringah. Each of these organisations used the Kitchen Table Conversation (KTC) process to galvanise their community. 

We are an entirely volunteer run organisation. Our minimal overheads are funded by private donations.

In 2019 we brought Kitchen Table Conversations to Cowper to gather community concerns and ideas and place these at the centre of the political process. 

Our Vision

An engaged community with political representatives who listen and respond to community voices.

Our Purpose

To encourage community engagement in the democratic process

Our Focus

To use a 'Kitchen Table Conversations' process and other methods to gather and present community ideas and concerns.

Our Values

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Inclusivity
  • Trust
  • Constructiveness
  • Transparency
  • Equality

Our Steering Committee

Our Steering Committee comes from all areas of the Cowper electorate, from Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie, Dorrigo and Bellingen.

In 2024, we are facilitating a process to update our understanding of the issues of concern to the Cowper community and to see if there is still a desire for an independent candidate.

The Cowper Community is at the centre of the proposed V4C process.

The 2024 Listening Campaign is underway with a combination of facilitated discussions and surveys being used to understand the thoughts, values and concerns of the community.

YOUR words will be summarised and presented publicly (anonymously) to guide all political candidates.
  • YOU will decide if an independent candidate is needed, and if sought,
  • YOU will be able to vote for the person best suited to represent you.

To be part of the Listening Campaign you can use our Online Survey

or

Visit our Join Us page or Contact Us for more information.

A Kitchen Table Conversation is a simple process that facilitates engagement and dialogue through small group conversations.

The aim is to bring out the best in people and find common ground in our experience of what’s best for the federal electorate of Cowper.

More about KTC's...

The themes gathered from all the KTC's across the electorate will be collated into a public report. This document will represent the diverse views and priorities of the people of Cowper and will also highlight our common ground. It will be presented for community discussion and provided to our political representatives to guide them in their decision making for the community.

By providing community members the opportunity to speak and be listened to, we get a better understanding of each other, where we agree, and where we differ. The process respects difference. The final report will be a powerful document encompassing what the people of Cowper love about their community and what they want from their political representative. Its goal is to reinvigorate that connection.

View the 2021 KTC report

The federal division of Cowper was created in 1900 and was one of the original 65 divisions contested at the first federal election. It is named after Sir Charles Cowper, an early Premier of New South Wales.[1]

Except for one brief break, the seat has been held by the National Party (previously known as the Country Party) and its predecessors since 1919.[2] Its most prominent member has been Sir Earle Page, former leader of the Country Party and interim Prime Minister of Australia in 1939. He represented Cowper from 1919 to 1961, longer than any other MP who represented one seat for his entire career. It has usually been a fairly safe National Party seat, and became more so when its more urbanised area (including Page's hometown of Grafton) was shifted to the newly created Division of Page in 1984.

The division is located on the north coast of New South Wales, and on its current boundaries takes in the towns of Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Macksville and Nambucca Heads.

In February 2016, New South Wales federal electoral districts were redistributed. The northern parts of Cowper, from Sapphire Beach to Red Rock were shifted to the division of Page. Since the 2019 election, the member for Cowper has been Pat Conaghan, representing the National Party of Australia.

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