Why you should listen to him
In a time when the welfare sector began to run short of ideas on how to help young people in a meaningful way, Matt, at the age of 24, read his grandfather’s memoirs which had been hidden away for over two decades. In these Matt discovered letters from princes, prime ministers and paupers who had worked alongside Ted to build a revolution in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
After discovering an unfinished idea of Ted’s called the Wayside University, Matt began work on his own tertiary-style educational movement directed at those who could never dream of getting a degree. It was there in a dusty attic that the concept of The Street University was born. Matt and his wife Naomi founded the Street University in 2007. It was launched by Public Enemy’s Chuck D, who called it “a work of art”. Today, the Street University, situated in South West Sydney, sees over 1000 young people every month.
Matt began Gideon Shoes with his brother Rupert, not only as a means to fund the next generation of Street Universities around the world but as an employment opportunity for those without jobs.
Matt was named by the Sydney Morning Herald as being among the 100 Most Influential People of 2009 and in The Australian Magazine Top 100 Next Leaders.
Matt is working on a new idea that he will be taking to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.