Sarah, the oldest of three children of Ann and Michael Henderson, was born and raised in Geelong in a loving, community focused family. She went to school at Sacred Heart College and Geelong College. Her first family home was in Barrabool Rd, Belmont, adjacent to the Barwon River. Childhood summers were spent on the beach at Queenscliff, swimming and sailing, where her grandparents had built a beach house in the 1950s.
Sarah’s father, Michael, was a Geelong solicitor, local councillor and mayor. Her mother, Ann, worked for Do Care, Deakin University and the National Trust before serving as the State Member for Geelong from 1992-1999. In her second term, she was Housing and Aboriginal Affairs Minister.
Sarah started her career as a cadet journalist with Channel 7 Melbourne in 1982. After stints at Channel 9 Brisbane and Channel 10 Melbourne as a reporter and presenter, in 1989 Sarah joined the ABC where she worked for The Investigators and 7.30 Report including as its Victorian host. In 1996, she won a prestigious Walkley award for her coverage of the Port Arthur massacre.
In 1998, after obtaining an LL.B (Hons) from Monash University, Sarah turned to the law, joining commercial law firm Allens Arthur Robinson which included a period working for News Corporation in New York. This led to Sarah starting her own media consultancy before taking on various commercial roles as Network Business Manager Programming with Channel 10 Sydney and Legal and Business Affairs Manager with National Indigenous TV.
Inspired by her mother and a determination to be a strong local voice for her community, in 2010 Sarah contested the Federal seat of Corangamite, narrowly falling short. On 7 September 2013, Sarah was proudly elected the Federal Member for Corangamite and re-elected on 2 July 2016.
In this 45th Parliament, Sarah continues to focus on delivering for Corangamite jobs and infrastructure including major investments in roads, rail, manufacturing and community infrastructure.
Sarah has served as Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs and Economics. On 28 August 2018, Sarah was appointed Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Sarah lives in Barwon Heads, still close to the Barwon River. Her greatest achievement is her 12 year son Jeremy who brings immeasurable joy and pride to her life every day.
From left, Sarah, brother Andrew and sister Jodie at Eastern Beach Geelong.