Hannah Wandel OAM

Change agent for young rural women

2019 ACT Young Australian of the Year

Concerned by the challenges faced by young women in regional Australia, Hannah Wandel founded Country to Canberra to help break down gender and geographical barriers to success. Hannah's passion for helping others was inspired by the generous response of her rural community when a fire destroyed her family's home when Hannah was just 13 years old.

In 2018, Hannah's amazing energy and drive saw her travel over 32,000kms to 80 bush communities nationally, to reach over 3,500 teenage girls to run gender equality, leadership and empowerment workshops.

Hannah has also organised 'Power Trip' camps where young rural women visit Canberra to be mentored by politicians and CEOs, and undertake training. Country to Canberra seeks to equip girls to become leaders in their communities and reach their potential. Program evaluations overwhelmingly show girls who attend have a greater understanding of equality issues and improved self-confidence.

Hannah's tireless efforts to advocate for young women also sees her volunteering on multiple community boards.