Matt served for six years in the Australian Infantry with both the 6th Battalion and the 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane. During those 6 years he deployed twice, firstly to East Timor (2010) and secondly to Afghanistan (2012). For his last tour he was acting Corporal as an Infantry Section Commander and received a Commanding Officer's Commendation for high achievement, judgement, dedication and leadership.
Matt transitioned from the Australian Army in 2013 to study a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University. During his studies, Matt established the Australian Student Veterans Association – a registered charity that creates pathways to, and supports veterans in, higher education. Matt saw the need for such an organisation based on his own experience, and had the drive and determination to set it up as a national organisation for the benefit of others.
Matt joined Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) as a paralegal in 2018 and was admitted as a solicitor in December 2019 – a significant career shift from being a Rifleman and Infantry Section Commander in the Australian Army. On joining HSF as a new graduate, Matt saw the opportunity to raise awareness across HSF of the skills and attributes that veterans possess. This led to the establishment of HSF’s Veterans’ Network - an important contribution to the organisation's diversity.
William Henry, Learning and Development Manager at HSF said “Matt’s vision, calmness whilst juggling client demands and building the network, unfailing work ethic and pervasive though quiet sense of humour have been core to the network coming together. Liaising with Human Resources, Matt led the firm to sign the Veterans Employment Commitment and in addition, in his own spare time he developed the internet content for the HSF Veteran’s Network to provide a public face for the network”.
Matt has helped deliver a series of webinars which examine how military doctrine and approaches can apply in the business environment. Matt has also represented HSF at career days and actively sought out veteran law students looking to apply for clerkships or graduate positions.
More recently, Matt co-founded HSF’s Veteran Mentoring Initiative – a nationwide professional mentoring program for veterans who are studying law throughout Australia. The mentorships are offered to veterans who have completed the first year of their law degrees and are looking to discover the opportunities that are open to them as they embark on their legal careers.