33-year-old Ellen Sandell has held the seat of Melbourne since 2014, becoming the first lower house Greens MP in Victoria.
She grew up in Mildura, near the Murray River in country Victoria, and trained as a scientist. She now lives in Kensington.
Before entering politics, Ellen Sandell’s career was focused on environmentalism, and was CEO of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, from 2010 to 2012. She also worked in the Office of Climate Change in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.
In 2009 she was a recipient of the Young Environmentalist of the Year Award.
On her website, discussing this period of her life Sandell says “ I saw Labor’s failure to implement the policies we urgently need to tackle climate change first hand” and cites this as an experience that led to her joining the greens party.
She cites campaigning against fracking, introducing legislation to ban plastic bags, working on dying with dignity legislation, fighting for renters rights and stopping the East-West link as important issues and achievements.
This year’s election is an important one for Ellen and the Greens. She hopes to see whether the Greens can keep hold of what is a traditional Labor district. If the Greens are to hold the bar;ance of power, Sandell will probably need to retain this seat.
Will Melbourne remain Green next term, or will it go back to its Labor roots.