Parliamentary interns awarded for researching topics of the times

27 November 2023

Parliamentary interns with the Presiding Officers at the Parliament House graduation.
Parliamentary interns with the Presiding Officers at the Parliament House graduation.

The gig economy, renewable energy and youth justice were among the range of topics researched by parliamentary interns in 2023, a graduation ceremony at Parliament House has heard.

Attended by members of parliament, academics, the interns and their families, the ceremony celebrated the successful completion of the parliamentary internship program by 40 students from five universities across two semesters.

Legislative Assembly Speaker Maree Edwards and Legislative Council President Shaun Leane congratulated the interns for the work they had undertaken preparing detailed research reports for various members of parliament.

Involving Melbourne, Monash, La Trobe, Australian Catholic and Swinburne universities, the program has been running for 34 years and has seen more than 1,300 students experience researching at parliament and working with an MP.

Presiding Officers with the interns who received awards for the most outstanding reports.

The Presiding Officers presented six prizes for the most outstanding reports among this year’s interns:

  • Susan Fang from University of Melbourne for Regulating rooming houses: improving safety outcomes in Victoria’s rooming house regulatory regime, written for David Southwick MP (Member for Caulfield)
  • Indigo Coulson from University of Melbourne for Socio-economic and geographic inequality: early childhood education and care in Bellarine, written for Alison Marchant MP (Member for Bellarine)
  • Lucy Gallagher from Monash University for A comparative study of state property taxation and reform within Victoria, with reference to overseas jurisdictions including Canada and New Zealand, written for Jess Wilson MP (Member for Kew)
  • Gaweshi Alahakoon from Australian Catholic University for Early childhood education: lack of availability and gaps in Geelong’s northern suburbs, written for Ella George MP (Member for Lara)
  • Amber Saw from La Trobe University for Oral health in regional Victoria: disparities, barriers to access and solutions to a regional oral health problem, for Sarah Mansfield MP (Member for Western Victoria)
  • Grace Mannings from Swinburne University of Technology for Unlocking the doors to affordable housing in the Sunbury electorate: strategies for improving access to the private and public rental markets, written for Josh Bull MP (Member for Sunbury).
Interns Isabella Dyer and Indigo Coulson spoke about contributing meaningfully to policy debates through the internship program.

In addition, Sara Hinton, Chloe Coburn, Tasmia Ahmed, Laurens Dowling-Lane and Shannon van Twuyver received special mentions for their reports covering public housing, rural health, workplace leadership, local government expenditure, and the retail electricity market.