Anne Kantor Fellows

Prachi Arya | Prachi Arya is an Anne Kantor Fellow whose interests span special interest politics, urban governance and opinion survey research.

She holds degrees in Economics and Political Science from the Australian National University. Previously, she has worked as an academic tutor at the School of Politics and International Relations at the ANU and as a research assistant for Princeton University.

Mahendra Chitrarasu | Mahendra Chitrarasu is an Anne Kantor Fellow in the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.

His interests include democracy (its history, philosophy, and challenges); trust and integrity; inequality and disadvantage; and theoretical and empirical inquiries into the political conditions for flourishing.

Previously, Mahendra was a course coordinator and tutor at the University of Adelaide, a Young Ambassador for UNICEF Australia, a writer for Radio Adelaide, and the co-creator of a MOOC on Shakespeare. He is also a board member and volunteer for Edmund Rice Camps SA.

Mahendra graduated from the University of Adelaide with a First Class Honours Degree in Politics (Valedictorian) and a Bachelor of Arts Advanced in Philosophy and Literature (Valedictorian).

Lily Raynes | Lily Raynes is an Anne Kantor Fellow based in the Australia Institute's Centre for Future Work, she is interested in trade unionism and reform to Australia’s labour law framework. Lily has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Juris Doctor from Monash University.

Lily has experience working in the trade union movement, government, NGOs and as a legal research assistant focusing on labour law.

Anne Kantor Young Women Environmentalist Fellows

Rachel Hay | Rachel Hay is one of the Australia Institute’s inaugural Anne Kantor Young Women Environmentalist Fellows. She is working with the Australia Institute Tasmania on a number of issues, including good governance, marine governance and climate change.

Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts and Law, with First Class Honours in Law, from the University of Tasmania. She has experience in research, communication and advocacy on climate change and environmental issues.

Sienna Parrott | Sienna Parrott is one of the Australia Institute’s Anne Kantor Young Women Environmentalist Fellows. Working with the Climate & Energy program, she researches topics related to the intersection of climate and gender and international climate governance with a particular interest in the Pacific.

She has experience in private sector consulting in the Federal Government and holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from the ANU.

Sumithri Venketasubramanian | Sumithri Venketasubramanian is an Anne Kantor Young Women Environmentalist Fellow in the Climate & Energy program, with an interest in media and communications. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the Australian National University. Her Honours research was a discourse analysis of Australian media coverage of the 2018-19 Menindee fish kills.

She is the co-host and producer of the independent podcast The Grass Ceiling, and has been extensively involved in university student media. She has past NGO experience in feminist and environment/sustainability spaces in Australia and her home country of Singapore.

Anne Kantor Fellowship Alumni

Daniel Bleakley (2021-22) | Daniel Bleakley is a climate action and electric vehicle advocate.

Daniel grew up in Clermont, a coal mining community in Central Queensland, and the town closest to the Adani mine.

Daniel studied mechanical engineering at Queensland University of Technology, and over the past 3 years, he has been involved in several climate awareness campaigns. He is the creator and host of Coal Miners Driving Teslas, a popular YouTube series in which he takes politicians, celebrities and everyday Australians out for a spin in his Tesla Model 3 Performance, and encourages them to ‘just plant it’. The popular series has gained international media attention for its fun approach to engaging people on climate action and electric vehicles.

Liam Carter (2021) | Liam Carter was an inaugural Anne Kantor Fellow with The Australia Institute in 2021. Prior to joining The Australia Institute he worked as a parliamentary and policy advisor to various state and federal MPs, and worked in the NGO sector. He holds a Master of National Security Policy from the ANU.

During his time as an Anne Kantor Fellow, Liam worked on a range of reports covering the resources sector, economics, national security and technology. He gave expert evidence in front of a Senate inquiry, advised foreign government agencies, and was seconded to the office of a federal MP.

Kate McBride (2021) | Kate McBride is one of the Australia Institute’s inaugural Anne Kantor Young Women Environmentalist Fellows and a fifth-generation grazier from Western NSW. Kate completed her fellowship part time over two years in the Institute’s South Australian office working in partnership with ConservationSA.

She was born and brought up on Tolarno Station, a 500,000-acre sheep property located along the Lower Darling-Baaka river. Kate has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and has commenced further study with a Graduate Diploma in Global Food and Agricultural Business.

Over recent years, Kate has worked with people from all walks of life fighting for better water management within the Murray Darling Basin. In 2017, Kate was elected by fellow landholders onto the Western Local Land Services board becoming the youngest board member in the organisation’s history. Kate is passionate about rural Australia but has seen the damage drought and poor water management have caused to regional communities.

During the fellowship, she completed research on Murray-Darling and rural issues, worked in Parliament House, featured on the ABCs Q+A and helped coordinate an Australia Institute event ‘Putting EVs on the Fast Track’. Kate has continued on with the Australia Institute and is now working in the Canberra office.

Hannah Melville-Rea (2021) | Hannah Melville-Rea worked within the Australia Institute's Climate and Energy Program as an inaugural Anne Kantor Fellow.

She provided policy recommendations to Australia's climate resilience strategy, conducted quantitative analysis of federal grant spending, and translated gridded temperature projections into electorate-level briefs about extreme heat in Western Sydney. Hannah plans to enroll in a PhD program from September 2022.

Elizabeth Morison (2021) | Elizabeth Morison worked as a Nature Conservation Officer at partner organisation the Victorian National Parks Association during her time as an inaugural Anne Kantor Young Woman Environmentalist Fellow.

At the Victorian National Parks Association, Elizabeth coordinated the organisation’s campaign and communication work in the intersection between nature conservation and climate action. She also implemented an organisation-wide strategy to improve youth engagement in nature conservation advocacy. At the Australia Institute, Elizabeth wrote the environment chapter of the 2022 Budget Wrap, and co-authored a report exposing cronyism in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She is now working as a Researcher in the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability program.

Anastasia Radievska (2021) | Anastasia Radievska was one of the Australia Institute’s inaugural Anne Kantor Fellows and worked for ACOSS during her Fellowship.

Anastasia holds an Honours degree in Sociology and Social Policy and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney. She previously worked in policy and advocacy work for a range of NGOs.

Clare Schuster (2021) | Clare Schuster was one of the Australia Institute’s inaugural Anne Kantor Fellows. During her time at the Institute, Clare conducted research on climate-related financial risks, political transparency and accountability and legal mechanisms to address climate change.

Clare is now a Law Graduate at Equity Generation Lawyers, a firm that specialises in climate litigation. Clare has degrees in Law and International Relations from La Trobe University.

Rhiannon Verschuer (2021) | Rhiannon Verschuer worked within the Australia Institute’s Climate and Energy Program as an inaugural Anne Kantor Young Woman Environmentalist Fellow.

During her time at the Institute, she conducted analysis of Australia's contributions to international climate action, provided recommendations regarding Australia's decarbonisation policies and managed diplomatic outreach, including organising the inaugural Pacific Regional Climate Diplomacy Forum with the Prime Minister of Samoa. She is now working as a policy adviser for a Federal MP.

The Australia Institute acknowledges that the Australian Capital Territory is Ngunnawal, Ngunawal and Ngambri country and pays our respects to Elders past and present.

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