Meet Laurence Hewson: the voice of Flinders Street Station

Meet Laurence Hewson: the voice of Flinders Street Station

Most CBD commuters going through Flinders St are likely familiar with the vibrant voice of Laurence Hewson echoing over the loudspeakers; a local Melbourne hero fondly dubbed “the voice of Flinders Street Station”.

Transforming the mundane commute with his witty and distinctive train announcements, Laurence has amassed a worldwide audience of more than 116,000 followers on the “Voice of Flinders Station” Instagram page.

“The first couple of weeks that I was doing the announcements, I had friends recognise me from TikToks that random people were uploading, but there was one woman in particular named Lucy who started the official account,” Laurence said.


The reaction from the higher-ups [of the station] was that they thought it was a lot of fun – they’ve never had so much positive feedback come through in one single hit. I eventually met the CEO who said that he really enjoyed it as well.


Although some of the announcements are improvised, Laurence also workshops new material ahead of his shift to reflect the happenings of the city.

“As I really started to settle into the role, I started enjoying the seasonal things that pop up,” he told CBD News.

“We’ve got Easter coming up so I’m writing some Easter things at the moment. I also noticed there were people who would hang around the platform for multiple trains at a time and that I’d have to start changing it up a little bit, so people didn’t get completely bored.”

Some of Laurence’s most popular announcements include, “I had a radio call from control earlier – they attempted to cancel the next train to Flemington, and I said ‘sugar, we’re not going down’, so they didn’t cancel it”, and, “The doors are locked, you can’t save these people now, their time has come – just let them go”.

“I hardly do it anymore because I think I did it to death last year, but my favourites are probably the airline jokes,” he said.

“Something like, ‘This train will reach a cruising altitude of approximately five feet above the rails, please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, restore your seat to it’s in full upright position, and stow your tray table before take-off’.”

While he enjoys “seeing people’s faces light up” when they are caught off-guard by the announcements, Laurence admits that a driving force behind what he’s doing is that, “if I didn’t do it, I would die of boredom”.

“I don’t want to just turn up to a workplace and be a robot for six-and-a-half hours and then go home,” he said.

“When you say something a little bit more engaging, it engages you as well and it makes you more active in your own workplace.”

“There’s a safety aspect to it too – it kind of snaps people back to reality and they also start to pay a bit more attention to the activity that’s happening around them, and I think that’s one of the things that I’ve seen a genuine improvement on is people’s awareness around the platforms when I’m around.”

While currently living in Reservoir, the “thriving hub” of the CBD has a special place in Laurence’s heart where he lived for many years, ironically working as a night manager in a backpacker’s hotel called the Flinders Station Hotel.

Outside of his role at the station, you can also catch Laurence playing with his band Sordid Ordeal which have recently released their debut album titled, When I Left Town. •

“The next gig we’ve got coming up is on April 26, we’re supporting a band called The Go Set,” Mr Hewson said.

“They’ve been around for years, so this is their 20-year anniversary. They were a massive influence for us, so to me it feels like this passing of the torch down to us.”

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