In November 2013, Elissa was named one of YWCA Queensland’s 125 Leading Women – as a woman who has made a significant contribution to her community and modelled leadership through her actions and words.
I have a 21 year career in media, marketing, communications and management; three degrees; a collection of awards; a bunch of life experience; and many beautiful stories to tell.
I juggle multiple passions and wouldn’t have it any other way. I work from home and also on the road which makes me a bit of a digital nomad. I often work from libraries, motels, cafes and parks. I love to travel! I manage a rare eye disease. I’ve been trying to save the eyesight in my left eye for a few years now. It can get pretty tricky from time to time so, in my everyday life, I am passionate about promoting #everydayjoy and #wideeyedwonder on Facebook and on Instagram.
I am a children’s entertainer, puppeteer and educator with popular puppetry arts company Larrikin Puppets, a South-East Queensland based performing arts business that performs puppetry for stage and screen. My husband Brett Hansen and I perform and tour together across Queensland, interstate and internationally.
I am the publisher and editor-in-chief of Sustainability Hackers, an online community for those who want to make lifestyle changes that will inspire and achieve sustainability. The publication’s specific focus is on supporting enterprises and sharing initiatives that are socially, environmentally and financially sustainable.
I am also a professional campaigner, supporting environmental and social justice non-profit organisations to develop and execute public relations, marketing, communications and fundraising campaign strategies.
I have worked for a multinational media corporation, in the non-profit sector, in the renewable energy sector, in arts and entertainment, and have supported small to medium businesses and social enterprises to flourish. I am an ideas person and an action person – I make things happen.
I have a Bachelor of Business (Organisational Communication) from QUT and a Graduate Diploma of Editing & Publishing from USQ. My most recent degree was a Master of Arts. In 2011 I wrote a Masters thesis in 2011 titled ‘Eco-Social Enterprise: A Hop, Skip & A Jump To Prosperity Without Growth’. I received Griffith Award for Academic Excellence in 2009 and achieved a GPA of 7 for my Master Of Arts. I’m still proud as bloody punch about that.
Prior to working remotely, I was with solar energy firm BioSolar, growing residential solar sales through media, social media, marketing, referral and testimonial campaigns. While there BioSolar grew from a small $1 million start up with a team of 20 to a $34 million company with a team of 200 and an extraordinary ‘big brand’ story to tell.
In my early career, I worked for 6 years at The Courier-Mail/Sunday Mail as a writer and editor for real estate, employment and IT. I was widely respected as an IT writer and Internet analyst in the sector’s dot com heyday.
Following that, for 6 years I worked for community services NGO Lifeline Community Care (now UnitingCare Community), supporting their communications and fundraising. While there, I raised $1 million in a week (250K in 24 hrs).
Elissa is a leader in the social justice and environment movements, locally and globally.
I have run 5 times for public office. In 2013 I ran as the Greens federal candidate for Moreton, Queensland’s most marginal electorate. I ran on a platform of care (compassion, community and courage), attending countless public forums and some high profile radio and TV interviews. In 2010, again as the federal candidate for Moreton, I led a grassroots campaign that resulted in a doubling of the primary vote to secure 15.9% – one of the highest swings to The Greens in the country. I ran as a candidate in the state by-election for Chatsworth in 2005, again in the state election for Chatsworth in 2006 and in the federal seat of Bonner in 2004.
In November 2013, I was named one of YWCA Queensland’s 125 Leading Women – as a woman who has made a significant contribution to her community and modelled leadership through her actions and words.
I am retired from running for federal, state and local public office, but I do still enjoy supporting my Greens friends and colleagues to run. I’ve discovered other ways to contribute to social and environmental change (e.g. my work in the arts as well as supporting the work of The Green Institute and Green Agenda).