5 April 2023

Announcing the 2023 Parliament Express participants

Say hello to the fifteen young writers who will be participating in this years’ Parliament Express Program, delivered alongside Parliament Victoria!

Launched in 2022, Parliament Express is an exciting program that provides young writers with the opportunity to gain practical skills, receive professional mentoring, and have an article published on the Parliament Victoria website.

Facilitated by Zowie Douglas-Kinghorn, this series of workshops will focus on building an understanding around how Parliament functions, with a chance to engage in unique experiences and meet some of the people directly engaged in parliamentary decision-making.


Akira Kerr (21)

Hi! I’m Akira Kerr, I am from Albury Wodonga, and I have moved to Melbourne to study Media Communications at Monash University. I am really interested in Australian politics and I enjoy reading and crocheting. In the future I hope to become a political journalist or do foreign correspondence in Japan.

Alexander Nylen-White (24)

Alex recently completed his Honours degree in Literature, and is deeply passionate about writing and politics, with a commitment for advocating for social justice, youth engagement, and equality.

Elizabeth Brown (19)

My name is Elizabeth (Lizzie) Browne and I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, double majoring in English and Theatre Studies & Psychology. I’m currently a member of the student publication Farrago, working as a non-fiction staff writer and a news reporter. As someone who has recently become eligible to vote, I firmly believe that political journalism is essential in allowing Victorians to find their own political voice. When I finish my undergraduate degree, I hope to study journalism and become an established writer myself.

Ford Carter (26)

Ford Carter is an online writer whose hundreds of articles across half a dozen fansites from the music and television industries have now been read more than 300,000 times. From his home in regional Australia, you’ll often find him binging Asian dramas or re-watching old editions of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Georgia Smith (23)

Hi, my name is Georgia. I am studying a Master of Cultural and Creative Industries here in Melbourne. I am originally from Tasmania and love exploring Victoria and everything it has to offer. I love to write about culture, current affairs, politics, and film. I am eager to develop my writing skills and be a part of Parliament Express!

Grace Knight (22)

Grace is a Political Science and Global Security student who is passionate about promoting equality and inclusion in journalism.

Isobel Orford (24)

I’m a current student at the University of Melbourne majoring in History. I’ve lived in Melbourne a lot of my life and always been passionate about the issues within the city, at the national level and how global issues also entwined with the local as Melbourne is an incredibly globalised city.

Jemma van Zaanen (21)

Jemma is completing her Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) at RMIT University. Also minoring in Politics, Jemma has always had an interest in how Parliament works and all things political. Her areas of interest in are political reporting, local news coverage, and long-form journalism.

Kaif Ul Wara (23)

I am a law graduate and a youth advocate from a migrant community. I am passionate about mental health and creative arts. I am a firm believer in speaking for myself and my people rather than having other people speak for us, hence I have been fighting for a “seat at the table” . I often write articles, poetry and blog posts to raise awareness on issues that affect young people specifically from migrant communities.

Lachlan Forster (21)

Lachlan Forster is a 21 year old student of the University of Melbourne, currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Relations and History. He is currently studying in Singapore as part of the Australian federal Government’s New Colombo Plan, which empowers students across Australia to travel the Indo-Pacific to learn new skills and increase their Asia literacy. Lachlan is a passionate writer, having had his pieces published in the Herald Sun, the Chariot Journal of Undergraduate History and Melbourne University’s foremost student publication Farrago Magazine.

Liam Flaherty (22)

I am a Student Health Professional, Leader and Program Facilitator. I am an accomplished volunteer with years of experience across multiple organisations including St Vincent de Paul, St Johns Ambulance and I enjoy using my skills to contribute to help those in need. I graduated from Monash in 2021 with a Training and Assessment Qualification, La Trobe University in 2022 with a Bachelor of Biomedicine. Currently studying my Doctor of Medicine at Deakin hoping to make a difference in Rural and Regional Health!

Matilda Willmott (22)

Matilda Willmott is a Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Undergraduate at La Trobe University. Her area of expertise is in comparative politics and economics. Her career began volunteer writing for the Woodend Star, a small regional paper. During her time at University, she has written articles for Living at Latrobe and Queer on Campus centred around queer stories and LGBTQIA+ information and issues.

Sophia Baker (21)

Sophia is a final-year journalism student at Monash University. As a journalism major, she is fascinated by telling the local stories that shape our world, with a particular focus on rural lives. As someone who has lived regionally for most of her life, she aspires to present an accurate report of rural reality, having previously published articles with organisations such as the ABC.

Valentina Boulter (21)

Velentina is currently undertaking her Master of Journalism, having previously majored in History and Politics as an undergrad. When she’s not madly typing her thoughts away on her laptop, she’s probably either ranting about the news, roller-skating or making terrible jokes.

Elisha Walker (21)

Elisha is a journalism student living in Naarm/ Melbourne. With a passion for covering social and political issues, Elisha writes with the aim of amplifying underrepresented and misrepresented voices in the media.


Parliament Express is presented by Express Media in partnership with Parliament of Victoria.