Hannah Wandel is the 2019 ACT Young Australian of the Year, a senior public servant, a public speaker, and the Founder and Chair of national non-profit Country to Canberra, which empowers young rural women to reach their leadership potential. Hannah’s has been named one of Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ by the Australian Financial Review, won the 2019 James McWha Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Adelaide, won the 2017 National Emerging Leader Award from the Institute of Managers and Leaders, and attend the 2018 United Nations Commission for the Status of Women in New York.
What is Country to Canberra?
Country to Canberra is empowering young rural women to reach their leadership potential. Founded in 2014, our award-winning not-for-profit runs nationwide programs that provide education, leadership and mentorship opportunities to regional, rural and remote teenage girls. We are a leading voice for young women, and are committed to strengthening rural communities into the future.
Why did you create Country to Canberra?
I’m passionate about ensuring regional Australia thrives. But growing up, there were two challenges I could see impacting regional communities like mine. The first was access to education and services. No matter where anyone lives, they deserve access to strong education and employment, services, and opportunities. The second was gender inequality. Even today, there remains an underrepresentation of women in political leadership and business. Whether it is the gender pay gap, women’s representation in media, or family and domestic violence, a range of issues still significantly impact women and girls.
I wanted to do something to combat these gender and geographical issues, so I founded Country to Canberra in 2014 to empower young rural women to reach their leadership potential.
Our latest program, the C2C Leadership Competition is actually open right now for young women and non binary folk in grades 10-12 – it closes on 23 July. Winners score a Power Trip to meet incredible politicians and CEOs, undertake leadership training and more. Details can be found at countrytocanberrra.com.au