Sarah Hanson-Young

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Person.png Sarah Hanson-Young   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Born23 December 1981
Melbourne, Victoria
Alma materUniversity of Adelaide
SpouseZane Young
Member ofWEF/Young Global Leaders/2016
PartyAustralian Greens
Up and coming politician for the Australian Greens. Selected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Employment.png Senator for South Australia

In office
1 July 2008 - Present
Preceded byNatasha Stott Despoja

Sarah Coral Hanson-Young is an Australian politician who has been a Senator for South Australia since July 2008, representing the Australian Greens. She is the youngest woman to be elected to federal parliament, winning election at the age of 25 and taking office at the age of 26. She was the youngest person ever elected to the Senate, until Jordon Steele-John was elected on a recount in 2017.[1]

She was selected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2016.

Early life and education

Hanson-Young was born in Melbourne,[2] and grew up near Orbost in East Gippsland.[3] In 1999 she was awarded the Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year award for Gippsland, Victoria.

She graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Social Sciences in 2002. While studying, she was Environment Officer from 2001 to 2002, and then President from 2002 to 2003, of the Students' Association of the University of Adelaide.[2][4]


In 2004, Hanson-Young worked as a bank teller.[2] From 2004, until she took parliamentary office in 2008, she worked for Amnesty International as Campaign Manager for South Australia and the Northern Territory.[2]

Prior to her entry into politics, she also worked as media advisor to Mark Parnell (SA Greens) in the 2006 South Australian election[5] and was a campaigner with Justice for Refugees (SA).[6]

Political career

Hanson-Young was elected senator for South Australia at the 2007 federal election. She was the first Greens senator to be elected in that state, the youngest person—at 25—ever popularly elected to the Australian senate,[1] and the youngest woman ever elected to the Australian parliament (Natasha Stott Despoja was younger at her first sitting, but older at the time of her election).[7] Although the South Australian Green primary vote remained relatively unchanged, preferences from the Australian Labor Party provided the required quota for a Greens senator.[8][9]

Hanson-Young challenged Christine Milne for the Green deputy leadership in October 2010, but she was unsuccessful.[10] Hanson-Young was critical of the Greens supporting the minority Labor Gillard Government, and wanted the party to negotiate with the Liberal Party.[11]

Following the resignation of Australian Greens leader Bob Brown in 2012, she was again nominated for the deputy leadership but lost by an undisclosed margin to Adam Bandt.[12]

In August 2016, Hanson-Young was replaced as the Greens' Immigration spokesperson by Nick McKim. She retained the senior portfolio areas of education and finance.[13]

As of 2021, Hanson-Young acts as the spokesperson for the following:

  • Arts, Media & Communications
  • Tourism
  • Transport and Infrastructure
  • Environment & Water
  • Gambling

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