Members On Their Way

Members On Their Way: Sandra Pankhurst

Meet 'The Trauma Cleaner' who has overcome great adversity to become one of Australia's most successful CEOs.

By Natalie Cornish

Members On Their Way

Meet 'The Trauma Cleaner' who has overcome great adversity to become one of Australia's most successful CEOs.

By Natalie Cornish

A transgender woman and former sex worker, Sandra Pankhurst has overcome huge adversity to live many lives. She grew up as ‘Peter’ in an abusive adoptive family in West Footscray, Victoria before moving to Melbourne in her mid-twenties – where she became “Australia’s first female funeral director, a trophy wife and a local government candidate”. Now the CEO of Specialised Trauma Cleaning Services, a hugely successful death and crime scene cleaning business, Sandra’s remarkable life story was the subject of bestselling book, The Trauma Cleaner. Here, Sandra talks using her voice for greater good, her admiration for Ita Buttrose, working on a second book, and why self-care starts with being selfish.

I joined Future Women as I like to surround myself with positive and strong female minds that are driven, just like me. I’m inspired by the drive and tenacity of younger women who are stepping up to be leaders in their field.

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $4 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in