Natalie Bennett (1983)
Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle

Alumnae Award: International Achievement

Natalie Bennett led the Green Party of England and Wales from 2012 to 2016 and was chosen by the Party to receive a life peerage in 2019, from Prime Minister Theresa May, to become Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, which reflects the area of Sheffield in which she lives.

She has been a feminist since age five and regards her concern for environmental and social justice as an extension of that. Explaining joining the Green Party in 2006, she told the BBC, ‘I thought about the state of the world and that I needed to do something.’

Natalie received an academic scholarship to MLC School and was Joint Dux in 1983. She is remembered for debating and chess skills, and as captain of the cricket team.

A fascination with the land led her to study Agricultural Science at Sydney University, but after an unsuccessful stint as a jillaroo she became a journalist. She worked in regional newspapers, then in 1995 headed for Thailand as a volunteer for the National Commission on Women’s Affairs.

As an external student she completed a BA Honours in Asian Studies at the University of New England and a Master’s in Mass Communication (University of Leicester).

She settled in Britain in 1999, working for The Times and The Independent before becoming The Guardian Weekly editor.