SARAH BEATTIE-SMITH

I am a campaigner, climate and energy policy geek and occasional artist. Originally from the beautiful (and much overlooked) South of Scotland, these days I’m having adventures in Melbourne, Australia with my partner Carly.

I headed the Scottish Green Party list for the South of Scotland region for the Holyrood election in May 2016, and before that I ran for Westminster for the Greens in Edinburgh North & Leith.

When I was wee

me as a baby with mum and goats

me as a baby with mum and goats

Born in Lanark, I grew up between Biggar in South Lanarkshire and Peebles in the Scottish Borders and moved to Edinburgh to work and study when I was 16. I studied Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art and went on to serve two terms as President of the Students Union before doing another degree in economics, social policy and political philosophy.

 

By day…

I’ve worked in public affairs, policy, comms and campaigns for the last 13 years, including at WWF Scotland, ClimateXChange, and Citizens Advice Scotland where I managed a team of fantastic policy and research folks working on issues like fuel poverty and energy efficiency. Most recently I worked for the leader of the Australian Greens, advising on multiculturalism and climate and energy policy.

As the climate emergency becomes ever more extreme, and the need for bold action ever more pressing, I’m committed to continuing to work in the climate and energy field.

All things Green

photo of me

I joined the Scottish Green Party back in 2012 and became pretty active straight away. I was co-opted onto the Policy Committee in 2012, became Campaigns Officer for the Edinburgh branch in 2013 and then Female co-convener of Edinburgh branch in 2014. I also served on Elections and Campaigns Committee from 2013 to 2016 and was co-convener of the committee during our biggest Holyrood campaign ever.

I got selected to lead our list for the South of Scotland region in Spring 2015 and I’ve been privileged to get to work with some really phenomenal activists across the region over the years.

Indyref adventures

campaign picture

Campaigning at the Green Yes Tardis

During the Scottish independence  referendum I ran events and spoke on panels at numerous events across Scotland including in Hawick, Melrose, Biggar, Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh.  I turned a Police Box on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk into a Green Yes campaign hub which drew international media attention and provided a space for local people to ask questions and debate the issues around the referendum.

On set presenting Referendum TV with Iain MacWhirter

On set presenting Referendum TV with Iain MacWhirter

One of the fastest learning curves I had during the referendum campaign was when I spent an amazing few weeks working on Referendum TV. Alongside Iain MacWhirter, Lesley Riddoch, Stephen Paton and Pat Kane, I presented the show and ran the social media side of things.

Common WealAfter the vote, I worked with other local people from different political parties to open Scotland’s first Common Weal cafe on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk. There we held political discussions, poetry nights, book groups, craft workshops and music nights. Good folk from Lesley Riddoch to Elaine C Smith and from Andy Wightman to Robin McAlpine have graced our doors. Since moving out of Edinburgh some great folk in Leith have taken over the running of CWENL and I’ve moved slightly sideways to join the Board of Common Weal nationally.

Me with David Greig, guests Juliet Swann and Linda McLean, the magical Chrissy Barnacle and pundits James Kelly and Peter Geoghegan at the first Two Minute Manifesto

Me with David Greig, guests Juliet Swann and Linda McLean, Chrissy Barnacle and pundits James Kelly and Peter Geoghegan

In May 2015 I started presenting Two Minute Manifesto with playwright and all round good guy David Greig. With the driving force of Chris Silver of Scotland Yet fame, we ran a monthly  discussion show where we invited guests, musicians, pundits and poets to share their wisdom.

In all that free time I have…

When I’m not doing all of the things above, I’m getting to know this new country I’m in, reading widely, taking up art again and spending time with my amazing partner Carly. I’m also a fairly mediocre baker – something I’m working on – and a budding green-fingered gardener. Yep, I’m definitely in my mid-30s now.

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