Elissa Jenkins - Publisher | Producer | Puppeteer

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 live as part of a multispecies community in Gubbi Gubbi/Joondoburri country on Bribie Island in Queensland. I am a first generation Australian of Sicilian, English and Welsh descent, but identify as a global citizen (she/her/hers). I regularly suffer wanderlust, but am blessed to regularly satiate it as well, at least as much as this ghastly pandemic allows.

I manage an invisible illness (a rare, autoimmune eye disease called Scleritis), so I spend a lot of time trying to save my vision, finding the right cocktail of meds, and managing the side-effects of meds. I have a wonderful team of about 12 health practitioners who support me. As a way to lift my spirits, I like to focus on those things that bring me #EverydayJoy and #WideEyedWonder on Facebook and Instagram.

While valuing and pursuing health is not a moral imperative, I am personally extremely health-conscious and choose to live my life in a health-enhancing way. I am also a fat, happy, diet culture escapee!

By profession I am a puppeteer, performer, producer, dramaturg, publisher and non-profit practitioner. I am also a writer of plays, films, songs, poetry, articles and stories.

I am a passionate environmentalist, HASS (Humanities & Social Science) educator for kids, a HAES (health at every size) advocate, and facilitator of wide-eyed wonder for children. I was an early adopter of the Internet, have been chatting online since 1996, and have a love/hate relationship with technology.

I have a 25 year career in media, marketing, communications and management; three degrees including a Master of Arts; a collection of awards; a bunch of life experience; and many beautiful memories to cherish.

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 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. In 2021 we won Best Live Kids Show at the national What’s On 4 Kids Awards, Australia’s industry awards for children’s entertainment and activities.

I am 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 all 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 non-profit 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).

4 thoughts on “Meet Elissa

  1. Elissa,
    I came across your name whilst researching for a current search assignment, and wondered whether you may be able to help.
    I have been engaged by an iconic welfare and charity group to find a Media and Public Relations expert to be the “face” of the organisation. The position will be responsible for publicly representing the organisation in all forums including public presentations, media, internal promotions and volunteer functions. The successful candidate will liaise with all media and achieve media coverage targets, delivering positive messages to the public, particularly the younger demographic (30 yr), to build brand awareness and relevance, and ultimately increased public support. The ideal candidate will have relevant media and public relations qualifications and experience, possibly including television and/or radio journalism. They will be highly energetic with very strong communication skills and exceptional presentation. Essential will be a well-developed network within the Queensland media and the ability to represent the brand and the organisation at all levels.
    I would be grateful if you could let me know of, or pass this on to anyone you think may be suitable and possibly interested in this opportunity. Enquiries will be treated with strict confidentiality.
    Nick Hines

  2. Hi Elissa,

    I’m Nicholas Price, I study a bachelor of Communications majoring in Public Relations and Marketing at Griffith University.

    This semester I am taking Campaign and Media Strategies where students are required to participate in a mock campaign.

    For this campaign I have elected to run as a Greens candidate and would really love to get in touch with you guys.

    We’re hoping to spend a little time with you in the near future – ask a few questions and take a few photos.

    Would you be interested in meeting with us, and what times suit you best?

    Cheers, Nick.

    Ph: 0435750060

  3. Hi Nick,

    Sorry for the delay. Just found your comment! More than happy to chat. You can reach me on 0418 786 986.



  4. Elissa,

    You seem like someone wonderful. Would love to meet one day.
    Thank you for your interest in Puppeteers without Borders.

    I just presented at the National Drama Therapy Conference in Kansas City…. on the last five years of workshops for Women in El Salvador .

    Dina Kaplan
    Puppeteers without Borders

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