Inaugural Rising Star Award
Ms Ellen Sandell (BA, BSc 2008)
Ms Ellen Sandell was the inaugural recipient of the Rising Star Award. Ms Sandell graduated from The University of Melbourne in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Spanish and Linguistics and a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Genetics. She was National Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) from 2010 to 2012, and has become one of Australia's leading commentators and campaigners on the issue of climate change. Prior to being National Director, she was also General Manager and Victorian Director of the AYCC.
In 2009 Ms Sandell was awarded the Environment Minister's Young Environmentalist of the Year award, and was also recognised as Melbourne's leading environmentalist, winning the Melbourne Awards for Individual Contribution to the Environment 2009. She was featured in The Age Melbourne Magazine as one of the top 100 influential Melburnians of 2009, and is a regular speaker and commentator on climate change and non-profit issues in the media, including publications in The Age, the National Times, ABC's Unleashed, Peppermint Magazine and more. In 2014 Ms Sandell was elected as State MP for Melbourne, giving the Australian Greens their first ever lower house state seat.