Twenty-one-year-old Lewis Freeman-Harrison is one of the youngest candidates in this year's election. He’s contesting the Greens-held seat of Melbourne as a representative of the Australian Sex Party.
He admits he has “quite a bit of work” ahead of him. In the 2013 election, his party (represented by James Mangasi) polled just under 2% of the primary vote and came fourth in a field of 11 candidates.
Freeman-Harrison was born in Bendigo to what he describes as "humble beginnings" in a "moderate, working class family".
He credits his grandfather, "a Labor voter [who] stood up for socially progressive values” as one of his influences, and they watched discussion of current affairs on the ABC's Q&A program together.
Freeman-Harrison owns his own IT and web development business and is open about the fact he has Asperger's Syndrome. He describes his condition as "more of an ability than a disability".
Still, he struggled with bullying as a child as a result, and hopes he can be a positive role model in this election for others with the condition. "I know what it's like for those out there with Asperger's and with autism in general. We need role models within the community, and I'm happy [to be a voice]", he said.
Last year, Freeman-Harrison had intended to run as an independent in the seat of Lalor, where he lives in Melbourne's west. He changed his mind when he decided to join the Australian Sex Party, who asked him to run in Melbourne instead as they were not intending to contest the seat of Lalor.
He believes he can represent the electorate of Melbourne, while living in Werribee.
I care about Melbourne, Victoria and my country. It doesn't matter where I'm running, but it's important to stand up for the rights of all people," he said.
Freeman-Harrison refers to himself as "socially progressive and economically prudent".
He is staunchly against the Coalition's proposed Marriage Equality plebiscite. "When you're elected to represent the people, you're elected to make decisions and vote. I would encourage this government and other candidates to listen to the people out there," he said.
The Australian Sex Party’s official website lists their first concern as “Your right to have a safe and good time”. Freeman-Harrison is a vocal proponent of drug reform. While not openly condoning illegal drug use, he believes that many drug users need "help, not punishment" and that cannabis in particular should be legalised and taxed, similar to the US state of Colorado.
While he knows that winning the seat of Melbourne is a huge challenge, Freeman-Harrison isn't shying away.
"I've got quite a bit of work ahead of me, however it's about people and that's what I'll continue to focus on.
"I will be fighting hard for Melbourne," he said.