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24 November 2014

Catherine McGregor (1956–) soldier, cricketer, sports writer, political aide.

Malcolm grew up in Toowoomba, Queensland, in a Catholic family. He was eight when his father died, and shorty afterwards he tried on his mother's clothes. He was a successful boy, at humanities and at cricket, at a Christian Brothers high school. He always wanted to be a soldier.

He enlisted at 18, and chose to go into the infantry, where he met David Morrison. He was known for his drinking and getting into fights.

However after a promotion, he left and joined the New South Wales Labor Party, and became press secretary to Bob Carr, then leader of the opposition. At this time Malcolm encountered Tony Abbott, who was making a name for himself in the Liberal Party, on a rugby field. In 1985 McGregor sought medical help and was offered a diagnosis of being transgender. He started going out as a woman, but lost his nerve and drank instead. He managed to stop, but had a major falling out with the Labor Party.

Malcolm went to work with the Federal Liberal Party for the 1993 election where John Hewson lost, despite expectations, to Labor's Paul Keating. 18 months later McGregor was involved in the leaking of internal polling that showed how unpopular Hewson was, and this led to Hewson being replaced.

Malcolm "having burnt my bridges with both political Parties" then became a media political commentator, and also joined the Army Reserve. After 911 he rejoined the Regular Army.
At this time Malcolm found a woman that he loved, and they married. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was working as advisor and speechwriter for Lieutenant General David Morrison, who was now the Chief of the Army.

He had a second career as a cricket commentator for The Spectator.

In October 2011, McGregor read a magazine article about Westerly Windina in The Sun Herald, and this enabled him to tell his therapist that he was transgender.

In 2012 McGregor was awarded the Order of Australia, and discussed his gender issues with the chief, who refused twice to accept a resignation. McGregor's book, An Indian Summer of Cricket, came out under Malcolm's name, and in the final chapter she announces her impending transition. Tony Abbott reviewed it, and lauded her courage. She separated from her wife and transitioned as Catherine (Cate) "rhymes with mate'.

Cate & Tony in the ABC Radio commentary booth
In general both army and cricket associates were supportive, but there were a few negative remarks, which led to spats on social media until Morrison counselled her that such was not to happen again.

In 2014 Catherine was featured on ABC's Australian Story, introduced by her old mate Tony Abbott, now Prime Minister. Catherine transferred to the Air Force. She now writes about cricket for the Australian Financial Review. She is senior delegate for women’s cricket in the armed services, and helps select the Australian prime minister’s sides, as his representative, that play touring teams. Catherine is on good terms with her ex-wife.

*Not the academic at UVic, nor the NZ journalist, nor the actress.
EN.WIKIPEDIA     Pinnacle

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