Voices of Mornington Peninsula is excited to announce the endorsement of Dr Sarah Russell as our community-backed independent candidate
Dr Sarah Russell will contest the Federal seat of Flinders as the VMP endorsed independent candidate
Dr Sarah Russell trained as a Critical Care Nurse before completing a Bachelor of Arts and a PhD at the University of Melbourne. She has been the Principal Researcher at Research Matters since 1999. Her work has focused on public health, mental health, ethics and aged care.
Sarah has been heavily involved with voluntary community projects for 30 years. As an undergraduate student at Melbourne University, she first learnt about the devastating impact of climate change, prompting her to volunteer at the Australian Conservation Foundation. Later, Sarah was on the Committee of Management at Thornbury Women's Neighbourhood House and Mental Illness Fellowship. She has also been a volunteer at Amnesty International and Community Aid Abroad and taught English to migrants and refugees.
In the mid-1990s, Sarah worked as a registered nurse on Palm Island. She not only witnessed the impact of colonialism and racism on First Nations people but also saw how social and economic factors contributed negatively to their health and well-being.
In 2003, Sarah received a grant from beyondblue’s Centre of Excellence to investigate how people with a mental illness stay well. Her book “A lifelong journey: staying well with bipolar disorder” has helped many thousands of people with a mental illness to live happy and productive lives.
In 2012, Sarah’s parents moved into an aged care home. Although staff treated her parents with respect and love, Sarah observed the systemic failures in the aged care system. In 2016, Sarah published an opinion piece in The Age “The aged care gravy train”. Her persistent advocacy over the past 6 years for some of the most vulnerable in our society has won her widespread respect for her independent analysis.
Sarah is the third generation of Read/Russells to love the Mornington Peninsula. Her grandparents built Briarcliff on the Osborne Estate in Mt Martha in 1935. In 1959, her mother put a prefab home on the same block. Sarah is the proud owner of this home where she lives permanently.