2019 Emily Hensley Award | Natalie Molino

2019 Emily Hensley Award | Natalie Molino

The Emily Hensley Award is designed to recognise the successes and acknowledge the diverse achievements of past Melbourne Girls Grammar students. The award honours notable Old Grammarians who continue to embody the school values through significant successes in their chosen field of endeavour and in their meaningful engagement and contribution to society.

After receiving a great deal of interest and nominations this year, we are delighted to announce that Natalie Molino has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Emily Hensley Award.

Join us in congratulating Natalie on this exceptional achievement.


Natalie Molino (2008)
2019 Emily Hensley Award Recipient

Graduating from Melbourne Girls Grammar in 2008, Natalie was an avid skier and rower at School, alongside her duties as Mungo House Captain.

Following her graduation, Natalie pursued her passion for food, sustainability and health, studying a Bachelor of Biomedicine and a Master of Public Health at the University of Melbourne.

Natalie has since become a rising star in the public health world. Natalie lives and breathes food and is extremely passionate about the power of food to inspire positive change.

From humble beginnings as a volunteer at NCDFREE, a global youth-focused social start-up, Natalie has organised mass, free education and activity-based festivals for all age groups to inspire within them a love of healthy and sustainable food.

In February of this year, Festival21 (a two-day event held at Meat Market in Melbourne) welcomed over 2000 attendees, 100 speakers from around the world, and raised $25,000 for local, impact-driven enterprises. The event also brought the launch of the landmark EAT-Lancet report to Melbourne.

Also held this year, in September, The Little Food Festival – a two day immersive, vibrant celebration aimed to explore the food we eat, where it comes from, and what it means for our health – took place at Federation Square. Natalie worked tirelessly to ensure the event remained free, inclusive, accessible, and championed play, story, and workshop-based learning for children of all ages.

Earlier in her career and at the age of 27, Natalie co-launched the Sandro Demaio Foundation and still leads the Foundation today as Executive Director. Natalie works with her team to support businesses, non-government organisations, and policy makers to radically transform our food system for a healthier and more equitable future.

Natalie is a young female leader with a bold vision for transformative change. She has contributed as a key speaker at the Playground Conference, appeared on ABC radio and has a central role as project coordinator in the publication of ‘Eat in Sustainia’.

Natalie continues to embody the school values in her activity. She shows great courage to work on unpopular issues including obesity and diet-related diseases, and continues to challenge the ever changing political and health landscape with her views for change. Natalie looks outside of her own community, showing strengths of self-discipline through spending time in Oslo working on sustainable food policies with the United Nations and the Norwegian Government, whilst also leading The Sandro Demaio Foundation and multiple purpose-driven projects. Natalie is guided by her strong sense of justice. She demonstrates integrity and compassion through her people-centred approach and successes working with not-for-profit organisations in the public health sector.

As described by her colleague and school friend, Jessica Renzella, “Natalie is an inspiring human. People working for a better and fairer world for all should be awarded for their often thankless efforts. Natalie works all day every day for the advancement of all.”

Learn more about the Emily Hensley Award