Sarah Hanson-Young

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Sarah Hanson-Young
Sarah Hanson-Young.png
Senator for South Australia
Assumed office
1 July 2008
Personal details
Born (1981-12-23) 23 December 1981 (age 33)
Nationality Australian
Political party Greens
Children 1
Residence Daw Park, Adelaide[2]

Sarah Coral Hanson-Young (born 23 December 1981) is an Australian politician. She has been a Greens member of the Senate since July 2008, representing the state of South Australia. She is the youngest Senator, and the youngest woman, ever elected to the Australian Parliament.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Hanson-Young was born in Melbourne,[4] and grew up near Orbost in East Gippsland.[5] She has worked on several community projects in Orbost including the establishment of the Orbost Youth Centre.[citation needed] In 1999 she was awarded the Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year award for Gippsland, Victoria.[citation needed]

She obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Adelaide. While studying she was, firstly, Environment Officer in 2001/2002 then, secondly, President in 2002/2003, of the Students' Association of the University of Adelaide.[4][6]


In 2004, Hanson-Young worked as a bank teller;[4] and, from the same year until she took parliamentary office in 2008, she worked for Amnesty International as Campaign Manager for South Australia and the Northern Territory.[4]

As of 2006, she was studying for a postgraduate law degree.[7][8]

Prior to her entry into politics, she also worked as media advisor to Mark Parnell (SA Greens) in the 2006 South Australian election[7][8] and was a campaigner with Justice for Refugees (SA).[9]

Political career[edit]

Hanson-Young was a candidate for the South Australian Legislative Council in the 2006 state election, ranked fourth on the Greens' ticket.[10][11]

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 elected to the Australian senate,[3] and the youngest woman ever elected to the Australian parliament.[12] Although the South Australian Green primary vote remained relatively unchanged, preferences from the Australian Labor Party provided the required quota for a Greens senator.[13][14]

As of 2011 Hanson-Young's portfolio responsibilities within the Greens include childcare, education, sexuality, human rights, gender identity and the status of women and youth.[15]

Hanson-Young became the focus of attention on 18 June 2009 when the Senate President ordered the removal of her two-year-old daughter from the Senate chamber during a division. Formal parliamentary procedures do not allow for senators or members to bring their children onto floor of the Senate and House of Representatives chamber.[16] Public reaction on the matter was divided, and ignited a debate on accommodating children and their carers in the workplace.[17]

Hanson-Young challenged Christine Milne for the Green deputy leadership in October 2010 but was unsuccessful.[18] Following the resignation of Australian Greens leader Bob Brown in 2012, she again nominated for the deputy leadership but lost, by an undisclosed margin, to Adam Bandt.[19] Hanson-Young was re-elected to the Senate at the 2013 federal election.

In December 2013, Hanson-Young, along with Senators Louise Pratt (ALP) and Sue Boyce (LNP) established a cross-party working group on marriage equality.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Hanson-Young was married to former local government councillor Zane Young; the couple divorced in 2011.[21][22] Together they have one child.[17]


  1. ^ "Senator Sarah Hanson-Young Parliamentary Biography". ParlInfo. Commonwealth of Australia. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2008. 
  2. ^ "Form A: Statement of Registrable Interests" (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Rob Lundie & Martin Lumb "Research Note 13 1998–99 Update on Selected Australian Political Records" (Parliament of Australia). Access date: 13 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d "Biography for HANSON-YOUNG, Sarah Coral". ParlInfo. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "ETS 'not tough enough'". ABC News Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 9 October 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Crook, Andrew (1 October 2010). "Crikey List: which MPs were involved in student politics?". Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Edwards, Verity (27 October 2006). "Greens pin Senate hopes on 'new Natasha'". The Australian (News Corporation). Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Natasha 'my Senate hero'". Border Mail. 28 October 2006. 
  9. ^ Heywood, John (14 June 2006). "New refugee bill opposed". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2006. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "2006 SA election candidates". Electoral Commission of South Australia. 2006. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  11. ^ "2006 Legislative Council Candidates - Voting Tickets: Australian Greens" (PDF). Electoral Commission of South Australia. 2006. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  12. ^ "Greens a new 'third force'". The Advertiser. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2007. 
  13. ^ "Senate Results: South Australia – Federal Election 2007". ABC Elections. Retrieved 5 January 2008.  Cathy Perry (ALP) is excluded at count 23, giving 71,615 votes to Sarah Hanson-Young, who achieves quota.
  14. ^ "2007 Senate Count for South Australia" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. 2007. 
  15. ^ "Australian Greens Senators - Portfolios as at 24 June 2009". Australian Greens. 24 June 2009. 
  16. ^ "Children in the parliamentary chambers" (PDF). Australian Parliament House. October 2009. 
  17. ^ a b Kleinig, Xanthe; Rehn, Alison (20 June 2009). "Mums condemn Sarah Hanson-Young". (News Corporation). Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  18. ^ "Sarah Hanson-Young challenges for Deputy Leader of the Greens". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 26 October 2010. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Deputy post boosts Bandt". The Age (Fairfax Media). 14 April 2012. 
  20. ^ Same-sex couples wait on High Court ruling, Herald Sun, 11 December 2013
  21. ^ "City of Mitcham - Overton Ward" (PDF). November 2006 Local Government Election Report. State Electoral Office of South Australia. 2006.  (page 111)
  22. ^ Jones, Gemma (12 November 2011). "Taxing year for Green warrior". The Advertiser. 

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