Ellen’s knocking on parliament

WHILE many young Australians would feel overwhelmed just thinking about worldly issues, one former local is tackling them head on.

Environmentalist and social justice advocate Ellen Sandell grew up in Mildura, near the river, which fostered in her a passion for nature, science and an awareness about environmental impacts.

The formative years of the 29-year-old, who is now based in Melbourne, gave her a desire to “give back to the community” she’d garnered so much from. “I loved growing up in Mildura – I thought it was an excellent place to grow up,” she said.

“Growing up near the river and in such a natural environment made me realise the influence we can have on the environment.”

With a slew of professional achievements in her short adult career – including state finalist for the 2009 Young Australian of the Year, former head of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, policy advisor in the office of climate change for the Department of Premier and Cabinet – Ms Sandell is adding another feather to her cap: politician.

Standing as a Greens candidate for the seat of Melbourne in the upcoming November state election, Ms Sandell aims to implement action and change surrounding climate policy if elected.

Speaking to Sunraysia Daily yesterday, the former St Joseph’s College student said being exposed to a diverse range of cultures made her value a sense of community and gave her an interest in electoral politics.

“Growing up in such a diverse community taught me a lot, and it really felt like Mildura embraced a lot of those different cultures,” she said. “People (of all nationalities) get thrown together and they’re forced to interact – and it created a good sense of community.”

Bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience, the young environmentalist hopes to win the Labor-held seat of Melbourne to give the Greens their first Lower House seat in the Victorian Legislative Assembly.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday's Sunraysia Daily 10/05/2014.

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