As a teenager, Matty was caught in a circle of heavy drug addiction, alcohol, crime and abuse. He suffered severe depression for about nine months and tried to end his life. Matty was also homeless living on the streets, eating out of bins, at the age of 15. At other time, he lived alone in an abandoned water tower. He was expelled from three high schools and had his first criminal record when he was 15.
Matty's culinary career took off when he was accepted into Jamie Oliver's first international restaurant, Fifteen Melbourne. He trained at Box Hill Institute of TAFE and then qualified at Sofitel Culinary Academy Melbourne. After successfully graduating from Fifteen Melbourne at the age of 21, Matty landed his second chef position at Melbourne’s French restaurant Vue de Monde under the professional mentoring of world-renowned chef and entrepreneur, Shannon Bennett.
Matty left Vue de Monde to move to Hakuba, Japan, to launch the innovative Bar and Restaurant created by Australia's first winter Olympic gold medallist, Steven Bradbury, at the boutique four-star Aqua Alpine Hotel. After its successful launch, including the introduction of Matty’s own signature dishes, he moved to Brisbane, where he was appointed head chef at the famous historical Old Government House Queensland.
Matty’s dream is to work with the best chefs in the world, to have his own restaurant chain called Outback Matty’s Bush Kitchen and to set up youth school centres around Australia.
“I want to help as many people in Australia and around the world as I can and change their lives forever.”
Matty wants to inspire others and set an example for troubled youths.“How Jamie helped me is how I will help others. Jamie believed in me and taught me valuable skills that turned my life around, the art of cooking healthy and sustainable food. I want to be a beacon of hope for troubled youths by inspiring them, educating them and challenging them to achieve great things so they too can turn their own lives around. Teaching youth these valuable life skills through a series of programs would be the most rewarding goal I could ever accomplish. Anything is possible and they too can achieve everything and anything they want out of life. All they need to do is to believe in themselves and have access to the necessary support systems and opportunities like I did. Reach for the stars; even if you miss you will hit the moon on the way back down. I will never give up on my dreams so neither should they.”
Matty is on track to achieving part of this dream, having recently started a not-for-profit organisation called Life Skills Education Australia Inc. It helps guide and advise disadvantaged kids, especially those in regional and remote locations, through difficulties they are facing in their everyday lives and teaching them the life skills they need to stay on the right track.