Sarah Coral Hanson-Young (née Hanson; born 23 December 1981) is an Australian politician who has been a Senator for South Australia since July 2008, representing the Australian Greens. She is the youngest woman to be elected to federal parliament, winning election at the age of 25 and taking office at the age of 26. She was the youngest person ever elected to the Senate (although several others have been appointed at younger ages), until Jordon Steele-John was elected on a recount in 2017.
|Senator for South Australia|
|Assumed office |
1 July 2008
Sarah Coral Hanson
23 December 1981
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Residence||Daw Park, Adelaide|
Early life and education
She graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Social Sciences in 2002. While studying, she was Environment Officer from 2001 to 2002, and then President from 2002 to 2003, of the Students' Association of the University of Adelaide.
In 2004, Hanson-Young worked as a bank teller. From 2004, until she took parliamentary office in 2008, she worked for Amnesty International as Campaign Manager for South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Prior to her entry into politics, she also worked as media advisor to Mark Parnell (SA Greens) in the 2006 South Australian election and was a campaigner with Justice for Refugees (SA).
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 popularly elected to the Australian senate, and the youngest woman ever elected to the Australian parliament (Natasha Stott-Despoja was younger at her first sitting, but older at the time of her election). Although the South Australian Green primary vote remained relatively unchanged, preferences from the Australian Labor Party provided the required quota for a Greens senator.
As of 2016 Hanson-Young's portfolio responsibilities within the Greens include finance and trade, arts, education, youth, and water and the Murray-Darling Basin.
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. The rules of parliament at the time did not allow for senators or members to bring their children into the chamber. Public reaction on the matter was divided, and ignited a debate on accommodating children and their careers in the workplace. Despite a delay of seven years, the incident led directly to a change in the rules of both the House of Representatives and Senate, which now allow MPs and senators to care for their children for short periods in the chamber.
Hanson-Young challenged Christine Milne for the Green deputy leadership in October 2010, but she was unsuccessful. Following the resignation of Australian Greens leader Bob Brown in 2012, she was again nominated for the deputy leadership but lost by an undisclosed margin to Adam Bandt. Hanson-Young was re-elected to the Senate at the 2013 federal election and again at the 2016 double dissolution election.
In August 2016, Hanson-Young was replaced as the Greens' Immigration spokesperson by Nick McKim. She retained the senior portfolio areas of education and finance.
In July 2018 Senator David Leyonhjelm suggested Hanson-Young should "stop shagging men", during a parliamentary debate on women's safety, in response to a parliamentary interjection by Hanson-Young, which Leyonhjelm interpreted as being to the effect of "all men being rapists". Hanson-Young has described the idea of all men being rapists as "absurd". In response to Leyonhjelm's interjection, Hanson-Young called Leyonhjelm a "creep" before he told her to "fuck off". Hanson-Young called for Leyonhjelm to resign after Leyonhjelm refused to apologise and commenced crowd fundraising to pay for legal proceedings to sue him for defamation, claiming that any damages awarded would be donated to charity. On 14 August 2018, the Greens moved a motion in the Senate to censure Leyonhjelm for his remarks against Hanson-Young which passed 30–28. In the defamation court case, Derryn Hinch has given evidence that Hanson-Young had said "women would not need protection" (in the forms proposed by the bill) "if men stopped raping women", and that this did not mean all men raped women.
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