When he’s not being paid to travel and surf new waves on Pink Foamy, his aptly named surfboard, or dedicating his time to his foundation whose goal is to motivate Indigenous youths and eradicate youth suicide and incarceration, Matt is making a difference through his work at Ignite.
Matt is one of Ignite’s specialist Indigenous consultants who oversee recruitment and mentoring programs to connect members of the Indigenous community with public and private organisations. The team builds strong relationships in communities where they promote inclusion for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. So far the impressive Indigenous team recruited through Ignite have been engaged by such brands as Google, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and the NRL.
To read some moving accounts of what Matt does on a day-to-day basis, to hear more about Ignite’s Indigenous recruitment and mentoring opportunities, or to hear what Tupac and Elon Musk have in common, read Matt’s Q&A below:
Can you tell us some types of roles you’ve filled?
I placed and assisted four senior Indigenous men that had just come out of prison onto a worksite. I would pick them up at 6:30am in my pyjamas and drop them at work for the day before heading into the office at 8:30am.
Can you tell us about some of your biggest wins at work?
One of my biggest wins at work so far was landing Google as a client. To support them in their journey to employing more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people!
What’s your absolute favourite part of your job?
Meeting with passionate and inspirational people in other companies who are on a journey to help support Indigenous communities and people with employment opportunities and pathways that can change lives.
Name one thing that made you smile at work this week?
A very productive meeting with a new major client that we will now be supporting in their journey to employ Indigenous graduates.
What’s one of your proudest moments at work?
Recently I placed a senior Aboriginal lady into her dream job at NSW Government Family and Community Services. The day I called her to inform her of the great news, she was working at a topless bar. Her Job Active provider was making her do it. She broke down crying with happiness in the toilet of the topless bar. Now we are mentoring her to continue her amazing progression!
Can you tell me a low point you’ve experienced at work?
I live by the saying: “I never lose, I either win or I learn.” In saying that, any low point I have experienced has been a great learning curve not only for myself but Ignite as a whole. We have such passionate and amazing people working at this organisation, the most difficult thing to see is them being disheartened.
How long have you had your foundation?
I started The Bright Youth Foundation in 2012 officially, but I’d spent a year or two working behind the scenes before we officially launched.
Can you share some major achievements of your foundation?
I established the foundation with the aim of being able to empower and inspire the Indigenous youth in our communities to create a brighter future. We would provide what they needed to achieve that. Personally, I was nominated to be a candidate for Young Australian of The Year because of the work I had done with the foundation. The highlights, though, are definitely getting calls from parents who tell me how inspired and driven their children are after we have worked with them. And seeing them go on to full time employment and achieving their goals. There is nothing more rewarding than that!
Your number one life achievement so far?
Definitely founding The Bright Youth Foundation and being able to bring multiple opportunities and provide a vision and motivation for the Aboriginal youth of my home community.
What did you want to be when you were little?
I grew up surfing with my dad so I always wanted to be a professional surfer. I semi achieved that!
If you could have one superpower?
The ability to transform people’s lives
You could have dinner with three celebrities, dead or alive, who are they?
Tupac, Martin Luther King Jnr and Elon Musk.
What’s your favourite thing about working for ignite?
The coffee machine. *laughs. The flexibility and support. I get to be creative with my work.
I’ve been here nearly two years and have already made so many good memories. The get togethers are always fun!
You’ve officially just met Matt. He is an inspiration and everyone at Ignite is incredibly proud to have him on our team. Not only has Matt managed to realise his childhood aspirations and achieve his superpower, he can confidently say he’s making the world a better place on a daily basis.
It looks as though we do have superheroes walking among us after all.
If you’d like to know more about Ignite Indigenous recruitment, whether you’re looking to employ, be employed or be a consultant like Matt, don’t hesitate to contact Matt on the details below. He also just happens to be a very friendly guy!
t. 03 8319 7850 | m. 0427 602 499