- Vice Convener of the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee (2007-2011)
- Scottish Parliamentary Labour spokesperson on Climate Change
- Convener of Cross Party Groups on Carers; Culture and the Media; and Men’s Violence against Women and Children
- Convener of the Labour Trade Union Group
- The first President of the Scottish Parliament Burns Club
- Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee (2003 – 2007, member 2000-2007)
- Vice Convener, Education Culture & Sport (until 2003)
- Member, Rural Affairs (until 2000)
Cathy’s background …
Cathy has always lived in Grangemouth. At 15, she left school to work in manufacturing industry, where she spent nine years, including four years training women returners and school leavers.
Cathy is married to Ian, and has two daughters, Cara and Emma, and five grandchildren. When her children attended the local playgroup, Cathy became involved locally and nationally with the Scottish Preschool Playgroup Association as a fieldworker and a training tutor.
She went on to gain a wide range of experience within the voluntary sector – managing a volunteer bureau, working at community level, as Director of a Council of Voluntary Service in Falkirk, and as Convener of the Council of Voluntary Service Scotland. She was instrumental in the voluntary sector securing their own premises (Falkirk Voluntary Centre), in the development of the Community Training & Development Unit (Central), the Linked Work & Training Trust (Central), and the Falkirk Women’s Technology Centre.
Cathy has a strong commitment to education and training, and she retains a strong interest in the voluntary sector, and the development of active citizenship. She is a former Chair of Scottish Labour’s Women’s Committee.
Cathy’s interests …
Cathy has a lifelong interest in equalities. She is passionate about music, particularly traditional music, and the Scots language, which she wants to see taught more widely in schools.
She is an accomplished singer – as witnessed by her occasional public performances, including not only stage and radio, but also the Parliament chamber (the Freedom Come All Ye during a debate on the Edinburgh Folk Festival), and perhaps most notably, singing Aye Waukin, O at the funeral of Donald Dewar.
Cathy supports various peace, environment and development campaigns. She is a supporter of nuclear disarmament and opposes the renewal of Trident. Other concerns include promoting fairtrade; addressing the impact of poverty and deprivation in education and training; Community Development and participation; and developing the Social Economy.