Sarah Henderson (Liberal MP for Corangamite)


Sarah Henderson, current member for Corangamite (Liberal party) (Photo: Sarah Henderson)

In the May 18 election Sarah Henderson will be attempting to win her third term as member for Corangamite, but it will be an uphill struggle, one that she hasn’t faced before courtesy of a tough redistribution of her electorate.

The Assistant Minister for Social Services and Housing and Disability services was first elected in 2013 and was re-elected in 2016.

Henderson is the daughter of Ann Henderson who was a member for Geelong in the Victorian State Parliament 1992 to 1999. Born in Geelong, Sarah Henderson attended Sacred Heart College before moving to the Geelong College where she graduated in the class of 1981.

Her first career was as a journalist and she was a reporter for Channel 7 in Melbourne then went onto Channel 9 in Brisbane and then to Channel 10 in Melbourne working the weekend news alongside Alister Paterson.

She worked as a presenter on the ABC’s Holiday program from 1992 to 1993 then Australia’s Most Wanted in 1994 and as the presenter for The 7.30 Report in 1995. Working as the program’s law correspondent, Henderson won a Walkley Award in 1996 for her coverage on the Port Arthur Massacre.

In 1998, after obtaining an Honors Law Degree from Monash University, she pursued a legal career and joined a commercial law firm Allens Robinson that gave her the opportunity to work for a News Corporation in New York. Before taking on commercial roles, Henderson started her own Media Consultancy where she was a Network Business Manager Programmer for Channel 10 in Sydney and also a Legal and Business Affairs Manager with National Indigenous TV.

Ms Henderson first joined the Liberal Party in 2007, and previously worked as a campaign volunteer from 1982. She first ran for the federal seat of Corangamite in 2010, but lost. She ran again in 2013 and this time was successful. In her opening speech, she spoke strongly about supporting small business and small companies. She was re-elected in 2016 at the last federal election, by a margin of 3.1 per cent, despite a 0.81 per cent swing against her in favour of the Labor candidate, Libby Coker.

Her big challenge this time around is a redistribution has reduced this margin to minus-0.03%, making this the most marginal government seat in Australia, one that is in essence now a Labor seat. So Sarah Henderson does not just need to retain the people who voted for her last time, but gain a few more.

She will be hoping that her high profile as Assistant Minister for Social Services and Housing and Disability Services (positions she has held since August) will help her get those extra few votes.

By: Claire Maher & Melissa Arul