Hannah Wandel is the 2019 ACT Young Australian of the Year, a public speaker, and the Founder and CEO of national non-profit Country to Canberra, which empowers young rural women to reach their leadership potential. Hannah has built the organisation to run four standalone programs that educate about leadership, gender equality and self-empowerment. In 2018, she travelled 32,000km to reach over 3,500 girls in 80 bush communities to drive change.
Hannah’s efforts have seen her named one of Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ by the Australian Financial Review, win the 2017 National Emerging Leader Award from the Institute of Managers and Leaders, and represent Australia at the 2018 United Nations Commission for the Status of Women. Hannah has been a speaker at TEDxYouth and a Director on various community boards and is currently a CEO Advisory Panel Member for the Commonwealth Bank.
Committed to public service and strengthening rural communities, Hannah also works as the Director of Drought and Decentralisation at the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development. She was previously as an adviser at the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet and a broadcast journalist. She is a media commentator about gender, youth, and rural affairs and presents at events around Australia. She also holds Law (Hons) and Media degrees from the University of Adelaide, where she also won the 2019 James McWha Rising Star Distinguished Alumni Award.