MEET THE TEAM

The 2018 YMCA Youth Press Gallery has a diverse range of young journalism students and current journalists on board to report on the Youth Parliament of Victoria program. With 21 participants involved in the program, the issues that young Victorians are passionate about will be well covered.

Rob Harrison
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen

I’m 19, from Point Cook, but I’m moving to Tarneit real soon. I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism at RMIT, and I work as a waiter in a restaurant in Werribee.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I thought the program would look great on my resume and would get me ahead of all the other second year journalism students I study with, as well as an awesome opportunity to meet like-minded people.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

To actively be working as a journalist, somewhere in the media industry. But more specifically I see myself travelling a lot, relying a lot on my phone, and reading a ton of news over coffee constantly.

Fun Fact

I sometimes don’t say Rs properly so people usually think my name is ‘Wob’. Hence the name @wobrhites_  which I used for my poetry account on instagram.

 

Jonathan Lian
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen

Aspiring graduate teacher and freelance journalist with 4 years of reporting experience. I arrived in marvellous Melbourne 10 years ago from Malaysia as an international student. As a journalist, I have written feature and hard news stories reporting for Melbourne’s community. I primarily specialise in print and online platforms as writing and editing are my strongest suits, but I have also volunteered for roles such as a photojournalist for special events.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I am particularly interested in the stories behind the youths who believe in a brighter future for Melbourne as part of the YMCA Youth Parliament program. I aim to tell these stories with the best of my ability and spread positive awareness of their good causes.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Teaching full time at a school, making a positive difference to the community, doing some freelance reporting either on print, online or radio. Or even running a publishing company that tells the unique stories of the people in the community. This has been a life-long dream of mine.

Fun fact:

Back in high school, I used to write, illustrate and sell my own graphic novels and comic books which became popular enough to turn me into the “Stan Lee” of my year.

 

Shelby Brooks
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Photo by Christine Nguyen

Having reached my 4th year of university at Monash, I finally realised my constant talking, curiosity for the world around me and love of reading lends itself perfectly for a pathway in journalism! I am from a small coastal village called Blind Bight in the south eastern suburbs of Victoria. I love everything musical theatre and am part of Monash University’s cheerleading team in my spare time.

Why did you get involved with the Press Gallery?

I am excited to be spreading the stories of such amazing young people who are eager to shape the world they live in for a better future. This is such a unique opportunity that the YMCA runs for budding journalists to have real world experiences in journalism. Plus, it is fun!

Where do you see yourself in the future?

One day I would love to work in the TV industry as a presenter or news reporter (maybe a member of Hi-Five?). I hope that journalism will take me around the world and I am excited to meet so many amazing people along the way.

Fun fact

I have found at least 50 four leaf clovers in my life. My grandparents live on a farm with plenty of clover so that has helped. One day I am expecting to win the lottery with all the luck I have accumulated!

 

Kim Price
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Photograph by Christine Nguyen

Hailing from the twin towns Echuca/Moama on the Victoria and New South Wales borders, I trekked down to Melbourne to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) at RMIT. Having recently graduated from university, I have come full circle and returned home to work full time as a cadet at the Riverine Herald. Over the years I have immersed myself in a range of media opportunities in print, digital, social media and podcasting.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

My friend Sam suggested I apply for the program as he had previously experienced and loved this opportunity. I have always been aware of the amazing work the YMCA does and the ability to be able to communicate first-hand with politicians and the next-generation of our country’s leaders was too good to refuse.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I will be a researcher/writer/producer/presenter of Triple J’s Hack. This program encompasses all the issues faced by Australian youth in an engaging and informative way. It has always been my dream to become apart of this team.

Fun fact:

This one time, I was (accidentally) punched in the face by the lead singer of The Temper Trap – which ultimately resulted him singing a part of Sweet Disposition to me. It was awesome.

 

Alain Nguyen
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen and Isaac Kho

Born and Raised in Melbourne, the inner-west beckons as home. I’d call myself a storyteller but everyone is calling themselves that these days which is the beauty of it.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?     

I joined the Press Gallery team because it allows more young people to express their desire for change in our society and even disrupt the status quo. I would like to be part of this disruption and become an innovator and learn from the future storytellers.     

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I have been involved in student media with SYN Media and Farrago Magazine and see myself getting into multimedia and photography. I enjoy travelling, photography, politics and pop culture.

Instagram: @alanptnguyen

 

Kyra Gillespie
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen

I’m a 21-year-old student and journalist from South-East Melbourne. I’m one subject away from finishing a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Politics & International Studies and English and Theatre Studies. I’ve also been working as a Cadet Reporter at Star News Group for the past year reporting on the happenings of Cardinia Shire – one of the fastest growing corridors of Greater Melbourne. I can be found on Twitter @kyra_gillespie

Why did you get involved with the Press Gallery?

There’s nothing more inspiring than having the ability to make a real difference in the lives of others. The fact there over 25 Youth Parliament Bills have been adopted into state legislation in the past is a real testament to the program. I wanted to be a part of that change.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I have huge passion for journalism and hope to work in the industry for years to come! To one day work overseas as an international journalist would be the absolute dream.

Fun fact

My Kelpie has her own Instagram – @rubythedoge. Follow if you like big doggos.

 

Matthew Fletcher
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Photograph by Matthew Fletcher

Hey! My name is Matthew. I am 19 years old and from Phillip Island. I completed my year 12 in 2017 at Newhaven College. My love of photography began after I made the subject switch from Physics to Media halfway through year 12 and it quickly became a passion.

Why did you get involved in YMCA Press Gallery?

After being a participant in Youth Parliament in 2016 and 2017 I was left wanting more. I saw Press Gallery as an opportunity for me to progress my photography and to give back to a program that has given me so much.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the future although I will be undergoing study I would like to be an active photographer. I also want to become a volunteer with YMCA and try to make the world a better place.

Fun fact

I have played Guitar since I was 7 year old and i can communicate using Auslan.

Gabriella (Gabi) Payne
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Photograph by Christine Nguyen

Hey, my name’s Gabi, I’m a 23 year old aspiring journalist originally from the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, but I now call Preston home.I currently co-host a weekly radio show on SYN FM and am studying first year journalism at RMIT University.

Why did you get involved with the Press Gallery?

I heard about this program through Uni and am keen to learn more about political reporting, make connections and gain some experience in the field.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I admire the work of investigative journalists like Louise Milligan and Sophie McNeill. In the future I aspire to be a foreign correspondent and travel the world.

Fun fact

Music is a huge passion of mine; I am a singer-songwriter who performs around Melbourne and I play drums in an indie-rock band.

 

Will Watson
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen

I’m Will. I’m 20 years old and come from West Gippsland in Victoria. I’m passionate about journalism and media production and ’m currently in my second year of a journalism degree at RMIT.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I saw the YMCA Press Gallery program as a way to gain experience to supplement my university program. And who wouldn’t jump at the chance to

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the future I would love to work in television or radio news production, or produce longer form documentary news programs.

Fun fact

This is where people who think they’re funny normally write a smart alec comment, but I’m above that.

 

Christine Nguyen
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Photograph by Kimberly Price

I am a 20 year old  film-maker specialising in editing, directing and cinematography. I completed two years of training at RMIT in Screen and Media and am on my way to completing my Bachelors of Media and Communication.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I got involved with the Press Gallery because my passion lies in politics, more specifically – social justice.  When I saw that this program allows young people to be at the centre of that, I thought this is it, I have to be apart of this!

Where do you see yourself in the future?

My goal in life is financial stability, but also to have as minimal regrets as possible.

Fun Fact

My hobbies include boxing, going to the movies by myself and reading. I also love SZA with the whole of my heart.

You can check out my website at whencreativitymeets.com and follow me on instagram @blu_cn

 

Laura Misale
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen

I am a La Trobe University student studying law and media and communications, majoring in journalism. I have a keen interest in both sport and justice, currently writing for AFL Draft Central.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I chose to apply for the YMCA Press Gallery because I saw it as the perfect fusion between my law and journalism degree. I have always been heavily involved with debating, and various youth UN events, so I saw this as a great way to get involved with justice and debate from a different perspective, the perspective of a journalist.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the future I see myself in one of two places, either in a law firm or in a news room. I hope to write for a company that has a focus on transparency and facilitating justice.

Fun Fact

There’s hardly a day you won’t find me playing or coaching netball! That and brunching are two of my favourite hobbies.

 

Nancy Ta
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Photograph by Christine Nguyen

Arts student majoring Journalism at Deakin University from the South of Vietnam. Turning 20 this year October, I’ve been in Melbourne for one year and 4 months. First time to leave home for a foreign country, homesick is lasting in myself.

Why did you get involved with the Press Gallery?

After a long time of having struggled with the future, I found the interest in journalism when I was 18. I decided to get involved in the Press Gallery because of hoping myself to jump out of comfort zone and make friends with awesome people who have the same passion for media. More than that is to gain academic experience from professional journalists and become as much confidence as possible.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I want to work in media industry majoring in television as a presenter.

Fun fact:

Food and bubble tea lover. Get to know me more here: Instagram: @nanciee.ta

 

Kim Koelmeyer
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen

I am a 21-year-old freelance writer. My work has been featured in SBS, Junkee, Archer Magazine and more. I’m also a regular contributor over at neutral.love, which is centred on deconstructing stigmas surrounding sex and relationships. When I’m not writing, I’m making my way through law and journalism degrees, binging Youtube videos and bullet journaling. You can follow me on twitter @mirroreyedgazer, and check out more of my work at kimkoelmeyer.wordpress.com.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I want to expand my content production skills beyond the written word, and flex my news writing muscle again. I’m also keen to work to tight deadlines and improve my time management skills.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Using the skills I have to do work I’m proud of.

Fun Fact

I was in a Target catalogue when I was 11.

 

Laura Green
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Photograph by Christine Nguyen

I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) at RMIT University. I’m originally from Perth and I moved to Melbourne in February 2018 for university. I now call Preston and the northern suburbs home.

My media experience includes writing for Teen Soul Magazine, Catalyst Magazine, and SYN Media volunteering.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I wanted to get to know other young people involved in communications, media, and politics.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I see myself as a freelance or investigative reporter and photojournalist working internationally.

Fun Fact

I was taught how to ride an automatic motorbike by two Brits on an island in Vietnam. I never told my parents that I fell off on the first day… Sorry mum.

 

Isabelle Harris
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Photograph by Christine Nguyen

I am a journalist at RMIT, based in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. I have experience in writing for community based newsletters, photojournalism, and documentaries. Follow my twitter @issykjharris and my website at http://www.isabelleharrisjournalist.wordpress.com/

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I got involved in the YMCA program to gain some experience in a professional news media environment so I am better equipped to work in the media industry and have some fun while I’m at it.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the future I see myself working as a successful journalist on an international scale in a variety of news media formats. Ideally, the end goal is working as a foreign correspondent

Fun fact

I enjoy making costumes from various video games, movies, and tv shows as a hobby!

 

Isaac Kho
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Photograph by Christine Nguyen

Hi, my name is Isaac and I am currently in my 2nd year of arts at Monash University. I am planning to do a double major in media and criminology next year. I was born in Christchurch, New Zealand! I love media related work, especially videography and making music videos.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I want to get real practical experience in a formal setting, while making new friends with similar interests. I also want to contribute to the youth and give back to the community.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I see myself as a producer for major companies such as SBS. Or either a crime reporter within Melbourne.

Fun fact

I am a black belt in taekwondo and currently a white belt in brazillian jiu jitsu!

 

Alex Tyndall
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen

I am an 18-year-old media studies student/videographer at Deakin University and I live in Oak Park. I have been making amateur home videos since I was little, but I have done a couple of more professional short films in different industry spaces around Melbourne for years.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I got involved with the Press Gallery because I had already done Youth Parliament in 2017 and wanted a more media focused creative experience to learn from.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I see myself as a high school drama and media teacher in the future predominantly, however I would love to also be doing behind the scenes work in theatres, cinemas and film sets.

Fun fact

I have done musical theatre productions for three years during high school; I performed in High School Musical, The Wizard of Oz, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

 

              Tyson Whelan

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Photograph by Alain Nguyen

I am a freelance journalist specialising in politics, technology, sport and media. Born in Maffra (Victoria), I have an appreciation for community and the role journalism plays in local issues. I am skilled in photography, film, social media and writing and I hope to work in Europe as a journalist in the future. Twitter:@tyson_whelan,Website:https://tysonwhelan3.wixsite.com/mysite

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

I joined the Press Gallery program to gain valuable experience within a realistic news environment.

Fun Fact

My favourite journalist is Frederik Pleitgen from CNN International.

 

 

Timothy Cox
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen

I am studying a Graduate Diploma of Journalism at RMIT University.

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?
I am passionate about writing and interested in politics. The Press Gallery offers experience reporting on political proceedings, but more importantly, grants an insight into the change that Victorian youth wish to see.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
My main interest is writing, but I would like to learn how to effectively and accurately incorporate Internet and social media use into the journalistic process so the public can participate in political discussions which affect them. This is especially relevant for a younger audience that receives its news primarily (if not exclusively) through social media.

Fun Fact
In the future I would like to write regularly for a newspaper and publish a book or two.

 

Marie Trevithick
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Photograph by Christine Nguyen

I’m 21 years old and I graduated from La Trobe University last year with a Bachelor of Media & Communications, majoring in Journalism. During the course of my degree, I reported on the 2016 Federal election for UniPollWatch, and also had work published for EducationHQ and La Trobe’s ‘Upstart’ website. I’ve been interested in politics and the media for most of my life, so a career in journalism really felt like a natural fit for me. Twitter: @maztrev18, Website: https://marietrevithick.wordpress.com/

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?
I decided to join the YMCA Youth Press Gallery because I’d love to gain more experience in the field, and reporting from Parliament House is something I’ve always wanted to do.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I’d love to be working in either broadcast or print journalism, filing reports about the latest political happenings in Australia.

Fun fact:

I appeared on an episode of ‘The Chase Australia’ in 2016, and ended up winning!

 

Georgia Mackenzie
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen

From the small town of Anglesea, I am 24 years old and currently completing a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at Deakin University while working in Learning and Development at YMCA Victoria. Twitter: @geomacken

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?
I have always been passionate about politics and media, and this program is the perfect combination of both! I think the Press Gallery is an exciting way for young journalists to gain experience and delve further into the world of political reporting.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
Hopefully writing a book somewhere in the snow.

Fun fact 
I once faked a broken arm.

 

Hugh Shanahan
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Photograph by Alain Nguyen


Age: 23
Current Masters of Public Policy and Management student at the University of Melbourne & writer for media startup Polity

Why did you get involved in the Press Gallery?

As a student and writer with a keen interest in politics and public interest journalism, the Press Gallery program seemed like a great opportunity to further my skills in both areas. I became involved with the Press Gallery program through a friend who completed the program last year. After seeing a post advertising this years intake from the University of Melbourne student newspaper, Farrago, it jogged my memory of a post she made about the program. She could not recommend it enough.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I one day hope to be working in either journalism or the political realm, as I see them both as great opportunities to reason, engage, and argue the value of the communal political ideas that you may not have considered as an individual. Working within the public policy process is of great interest to me, whether that be as a commentator or as a participant.

Fun Fact  

Growing up in Baranduda, 10 minutes outside of Wodonga, I greatly admire the career of Barrie Cassidy. From getting his start at the local Chiltern paper to becoming one of the most prominent political commentators of the last 10 years, his work is on of great inspiration for me. To me, Barrie’s career showcases the valuable perspective that regional people can bring to journalism.

#BarrieCassidyno1fan