Home » Podcast » A chat with Matt Boyce | Episode 23

A chat with Matt Boyce | Episode 23


In this week’s episode, Geoff is talking to Matt Boyce who was a Winner in the 2020 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards, Queensland.


Matt Boyce hopes to address mental health challenges through human connection. Recognising the role of food in giving a sense of community and connection, Matt established “The Connection Project” which has four pillars. ‘Your Prep’ is a cooked meal kit delivery business designed to get families together. ‘How Good’s Living’ organises events that bring communities together. ‘Life’s Warriors’ is a charity program teaching kid’s resilience. Lastly, the “The Connection Project” App aims to bring connections online and has impacted over 200,000 lives. A carpenter by profession, Matt has been accepted into the ‘Seeds of Change’ accelerator program by Mars Food Australia.

In this episode:

  • Hear how during a time of pandemic and restrictions, Matt and The Connection Project were still able to continue their work
  • The passion of Matt in leading his team to make a difference in so many areas of human connection is nothing short of amazing – you will be inspired and I hope empowered to also make a difference.


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Annette (00:05):

Welcome to the Inspirational Australians podcast, where we chat to people, making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. And here is your host for today, Geoff Griffin.

Geoff (00:21):

I’m really looking forward to my chat with Matt Boyce today. He’s been a hard man to catch, and he is in his car right now. So apologies for the slightly tinny audio sound. But the quality of conversation with Matt is exceptional. He’s an amazing young man doing extraordinary things and you will be inspired. So please bear with us and enjoy. My guest today recently won the 7News Young Achiever Award Queensland –  Small Business Achiever Award. He hopes to address mental health challenges through a human connection in particular, the role of food and giving a sense of community and establish the human connection project. Now we all love food, certainly I do so a great move there on his part. Matt, it’s such an honor to have you on the podcast today, particularly during what’s been a very mentally and financially challenging time for many, your stories is so inspiring and welcome to the podcast.

Matt  (01:29):

Thanks so much, Geoff. It’s been hard to put the time slot together with busy schedules during what’s going on in the world at the moment. I’m glad we could get some time and have a chat. It’s definitely an honor to be on the podcast.

Geoff (01:41):

Yeah, so true. It has been a pretty wild time. Matt was really privileged to meet you on the online presentation, will be it not live. And you know, it’s so nice to be able to shake people’s hands and tell them how amazing they are in person. But we got there eventually with the online presentations and, uh, was, as I say, such a privilege to meet you. And of course, all of the other finalists for our category. Matt, what inspired you to, to make such a difference for those who feel socially isolated and how did the human connection project come about?

Matt (02:23):

Yeah, it’s a, um, it’s an interesting question. I guess, for myself, if I’m to, to kind of rewind parts of my life, I was a cop into growing up, left school midway through year 10 to kind of pursue carpentry. School wasn’t really the right fit for me. I definitely learn in a different style to what school allows along with a lot of other views. However, I always found myself being a person that was just by virtue, having the deeper conversations as a carpenter on site. I was obviously the youngest, but I was talking to 40, 56 year old men about their family and what was going on with the kids at home and their mental health and what they did to manage it. And it kind of just kept growing and growing and just bought by the being in the right place. At the right time. I had a lot of conversations that were having a lot of impact, not necessarily on the person on the receiving end, but on myself and fast forward, I moved to Queensland to Rugby League and met, um, Justin Collins, who, you know, I don’t know if there’s such thing as a soulmate and a best mate, but me and him were pretty much inseparable. Uh, and just five years ago now he died in an accident. He went surfing and unfortunately never came back. He lost his life on that surf trip and it just spiraled me out of control. And I went from being someone who is a facilitator of these mental health conversations to being someone who really needed someone to facilitate to me. And I found I was in a very dark place. I was definitely struggling with depression and different thoughts were going through my mind at the time. And I probably sat in that Geoff for a couple of weeks, a couple of months, to be honest. And, um, I started having this realization that what I was feeling, um, although I was getting labeled depression and anxiety and grieving, but what I was really struggling with was my lack of human connection. I disengaged from everyone, be it, my friends, my family, um, Justin’s family. I’ve put up a wall as a coping mechanism and it just was quite literally tearing me apart. So it was in that kind of epiphany moment where I realized if I’m, if I’m falling into the depressed, um, category, the mental health side of things, uh, and I’m lacking communication, how many others are in these exact same category. And I started to look around and I realized the people in my circle that were going through the toughest times and I make always an important note that not everyone, um, there’s definitely those that were dealing with clinical depression. Don’t get me wrong on that. But a lot of us in, within my circle were just struggling with lack of genuine human connection. Um, so I’ve just started to facilitate walk and talks, which is in our, I guess our, our bread and butter is we just get a group of people together and we walk and talk and connect and it just grew organically from there. You know, we run some events in, within businesses now. So we get facilitation to teach them how to connect various human beings. We operated a food company for a number of years there called Your Prep, which was facilitating family dinner time. And we’re just trying our hand at a lot of different things to try to show the importance of human connection in everyday life, because there is a lot of people that are struggling with depression, and there’s equally as many people, if not more, that are struggling with a loss of human connection in their life. And we only have to look to the likes, you know, your local community down in Melbourne to see how prevalent that is right now.

Geoff (06:03):

Yeah Matt, it’s such an inspiring story. And the impressive thing is you turned a very low time and a low point in your life around to make a difference and are the stories that I really love people who, um, really want to make a difference because it’s something that they’ve experienced themselves and understand very firsthand what it means to be low, to be depressed and to be isolated. You know, we live in such a big world. That’s so fast paced, and yet we often don’t even know our neighbors and we feel very lonely, even though we’re in the crowd side, I certainly admire what you’re doing. And I think it’s so, so important as well. And it’s inspiring for all of our listeners too, to know that there are people like you and a number of our other winners, of course, across the country, through the awards who just want to make such a difference for others. So hats off to you. And congratulations. Can you tell us a bit about that your prep program that you talked about? How, how did that work and what were you doing in that?

Matt (07:18):

Yeah, that was, uh, so that was definitely one of the most fulfilling parts of the human connection, inspiring but it’s hibernation at the moment, but it’s definitely in the future where we’re not knocking the opportunity to try to bring that back. Essentially what it was is we looked at a lot of families within our local community and we’ve got working families now, which I think is great. Um, gone are the days with a prehistoric thinking around one parent has to be stay at home and the other working, it’s good. We’ve got both parents working now, which means family dinner time is becoming a lot of third grades, a lot of takeaway in front of the TV, a lot of quick options. And we’re finding that that’s taking away from any genuine human connection in there. There’s definitely some families we look at as, as inspiration when we were building your practice in our community. And what it was is it was cooked individual ingredients, um, say the likes of, uh, seasoned beef meats, cooked individual vegetables. And we had a couple of salad options as well. And the reason it was so prevalent for us is if you were to think of the last time you had a taco, not at your, at your household, the community and the connection and the comradery, if you will, is when you are building that taco, when you’re standing around the tomato and the lettuce and all the different ingredients and you’re chatting and you’re giving, you know, you’re putting crap on your sandwich because it’s putting too much avocado on his bread. You know, all these little things that build so much fun and connection, but then once you sit down with your burrito, everyone shuts up and eat their food generally. So we looked at as the individual components being prepared is where and allows a lot more connections. So by cooking those ingredients for families and having them ready, it meant we could bring the kids into the kitchen now and have them helping mom and dad and anyone else prepare the meal and give that genuine connection. And we, we service all with Queensland and we just broke into, um, new South Wales for a while there, but two weeks prior to COVID, which is nice. I still kick myself two weeks prior to COVID, we shut that down just cause we were juggling too many balls and one of them had to hit the ground and we wanted to make sure we could catch it before it hit, began and became a, uh, an issue. You see, your prep is at the moment in a hibernation, but hopefully they’ll be back on the cards.

Geoff (09:38):

Yeah. Well, you start right though, gathering around to put food together is such a good connection opportunity. Cause we probably get to the table and we dig in, or people go their separate ways to watch TV or do whatever it is they want or are doing at that time together to pick out bits and pieces to put in our taco and who doesn’t love a taco, whatever idea it’s such a clever, clever thing to do. Now I know there are four pillars of the human connection project and that, that was one of them, of course. And one of the others is How Good’s Living. Can you tell our listeners about what it’s all about?

Matt (10:22):

Yeah, for sure. So How Good’s living is essentially just a, a wearable message is what I like to call it. It’s quite similar. I’ll use a really relevant example right now. We’re in the middle of November and the men walking down the street and seeing another man wearing a November is a sign of, you know, it’s kind of like a little bit of a, it’s a bit corny, but a badge of honor to say, you know, I’m doing my part or I’m up for a conversation or I’m stepping forward when others are stepping back around the mental health world. So How  Good’s Living, I think for us is it started, started as a hashtag probably best part of 10 years ago, Geoff. With just everything I was putting out there, any social content I was putting out there, I was just trying to remind people of how good living is, and it’s not too, it’s not to discredit or disregard or throw away that some are doing it really, really tough at the moment, but it’s just to remind us that when we are getting, you know what I mean, a rock over the little things in life, you know, someone, someone cuts you off in traffic and you’re blowing up and you’re on your horn. It’s just to pull back a little and just realize how good living really is, how good of an opportunity, how lucky we are to have a lot, how lucky we are to live in Australia. Um, and yeah, it’s just a, it’s a clothing line. We’re trying to make it bigger and bigger by the month at the moment we got some shirts and jumpers, it’s just an opportunity for people to wear that message on their chest to show, to show others, A that they are up to the conversation, B they’re doing their part and C just to remind themselves by wearing it simply how good living is. It’s a very, very simple message and very profound when heard at the right time at the right moment.

Geoff (12:01):

Man, I think hearing that message any time, every time all the time is absolutely brilliant, because we do focus often on the negatives, but if you really stop and think just for a moment, there is almost always something positive that you can think about. And I’ve certainly tried to do that through the lockdown period, look out the window and say, how good is living. Maybe not necessarily in those words, but to paraphrase what you’re talking about is to find the positives, it treally help try to lift. You know, it’s very easy I think if you’re focusing on too many negatives to give in to that downward spiral and trying to do is just saying, think about how good living is such a positive. And I love the idea of the t-shirt. We just released a t-shirt for the 7News Young Achiever Awards and it’s our logo. And it just says underneath it together, we make a difference. Same concept I guess, is to inspire people, to be positive, to make a difference in their communities. And I think back of Mike Worsman, who was a winner in the South Australian program, he has a program called 1 million smiles. I want to get a million people to think about smiling and get photos, people to send photos of them smiling or someone else smiling. And it’s the same message. Be happy, think positively, so it’s important particularly in times when it’s a little tough.

Matt (13:42):

Yeah, I think so. It’s, you know, in mainstream media and there’s a lot of, um, there’s not even a word for it, but there’s a lot of work around thinking happy and being happy. And unfortunately it’s been misconstrued and manipulated by marketing schemes to try sell products. And a lot of people have lost connection to how actual beneficial it is to, uh, to ourselves and our community to think positive. You hear people say, I’ll try to think positive now, and it’s just such a throwaway term. But, um, you know, in any situation, if you really look for it, there’s, there is a positive to be found. Um, I’ve seen some people go through the worst times in their entire life and at the end of it taking a, you know, it doesn’t have to be positive. It can just be a learning, you know, taking a learning out of a negative situation is all we’re trying to get people to do. And we’re trying to give them practical ways of doing that rather than just slogans and metaphors, you know, we’ve got out how does the thing, which is our brand push, but then we want to make sure there’s practical frameworks and components that people can practice in to help them along the way.

Geoff (14:52):

Yeah. Brilliant. That’s so important. You’re right. We can be very cliche about, um, things and actually lose sight of what it is, but really trying to achieve or trying to get out of being positive. So yeah, you’re absolutely spot on. I love that. You’ve got a lot of thought gone into the whole concept of the human connection project. It’s absolutely awesome. And that’s what gives you the greatest opportunity to, for longevity and sustainability of what you’re doing and you get a following, which is absolutely brilliant. Now I know that you have a charity program that teaches kids resilience. What’s that about?

Matt (15:33):

Yeah. So that’s all part of the same. Um, so we did have it set up as a separate kind of separate wing to the charity and we brought everything during COVID. We brought everything into the one functioning charity and shut down there and new different arms we had. So that’s just, um, it’s a school program that we have a couple of options and we haven’t run one for a while now because of COVID obviously, uh, we were in the middle of one edits, when Covid really came to lot. So what it is we just break them down. We’ve got some pillars. We run all our content off, which is empathy, leadership, empowerment, and connection. And through that, we teach these kids really practical steps on how to actually live into those words, because they’re very easy to throw away when you break them down. And we need to make sure that we’re doing all three of those four of those rather than to ourselves before we even think of the outside world. So we need to be, you know, showing empathy to ourself in particular for school kids where this program sits is showing empathy to self and you’re struggling with a specific subject or a test. Um, you know, we get so caught up in our marks and I’d hate to be, I’d hate to be the one that say that says this on a public platform. But at the end of the day, our school grades don’t really go towards too much in the real world. Once you get outside of that platform of school and university, I know for myself, definitely if people were to look at my schooling history, no one would be listening to me right now. And then leadership is to ensure that you can lead yourself before you lead others. So by making sure that we stick through with plans and methodologies, we’re trying to set up, uh, in a empowerment is an obvious find empowering yourself to make a difference before trying to empower others, because we all know that, you know, to be, to be a good leader and a lot of leaders stand at the back of the cart and whip the people as they dragged the cart forward. But the best leaders will be amongst the, amongst the crew dragging that cart forward. And then connection is our overarching pillar of everything we do. It comes back to connecting with yourself, understanding what, what you need at any given time and then connecting to your community, understanding how you can make a positive, positive impact on that. So yeah, that courses all around that and trying to instill this to our younger generation in very basic understanding, you know, I had people come and speak to me when I at school and I would be in button-ups and suits and talking words. It meant nothing for you, 10 students away just go in there and you know, and I have, it’s living clothing, this casual, we try sit with the kids and have conversations with them and learn about them before we try to tell them what they need to know. Um, so yeah, it’s kind of on hold at the moment with COVID, but we’re really looking forward to getting back into that. We switched into an online platform during COVID and gave, gave a lot of our community free access to that specific program in an online content.

Geoff (18:22):

Yeah. It sounds like the word that I really don’t like pivot, but it sounds like you’ve pivoted beautifully.

Matt (18:30):

We agree on that. It’s one of the most serious words I’ve ever heard.

Geoff 18:34):

Yeah. So what really, what it means, but, um, I’d imagine someone sitting on a chair and just turning around around, but uh…

Matt (18:43):

Well the thing I always say to people when they asked me, did you pivot during COVID is if we think of it from a human perspective, if you’re walking down a footpath, Geoff, when you pivot that means you change direction, but hopefully none of us have changed direction during COVID we’re still aiming towards the same goal. We’ve simply step to the side of the potholes. So having where, where we haven’t pivoted we’ve done anything, but just dug a little bit.

Geoff (19:10):

Yeah, absolutely doing things even better. Potentially. That’s one thing that we’ve had is time to actually really think about what is that we do and how we do it better, maybe slightly differently, but it’s better. And it doesn’t necessarily need to change other than the way we present ourselves or reach people. So, you know, I find what you’re doing is really extraordinary. You talked about schooling and university, and I really agree, and I love University of Queensland of course who are a sponsor of our awards there, their slogan or motto is create change. And I think that’s spot on, you know, it’s not so much about being the most brilliant or getting a degree in AB or CN. There’s nothing wrong with that or brilliant. But for some people it’s about doing what you do and that’s creating change in the community. So I really liked their slogan, it takes the focus of that absolute academic achievement and makes it about people who want to make a difference. So I think that’s a sort of really cool way to go. Yeah, I really enjoy that. And if it’s, I think it fits in nicely with what you’re talking about now, I know you have an app too, so you’re being really practical for young people, for everybody, but certainly young people. What’s the app all about. And how does that work to help you program?

Matt (20:41):

Yeah, so we, um, so we launched the app originally for the global movement, which is something, we ran the inaugural one in October this year. So just, just gone something we’re going to run every year in October for mental health month. And, um, it’s called the Global Movement. And over a month we try to cover 800,000 kilometers, which is unfortunately the amount of lives may lose to suicide every year and across the world. And as most people know, that’s only the recorded suicide and we are unfortunately losing a lot, lot more. Uh, and within that app, once a global movement finishes, we, we pivot that app to use that word. Um, we changed that up into our wellness tracker. So it tracks out our sleep path through and very, basically our food, not calories in calories out this way, whether you eat right or whether you eat poorly, uh, your mood, your training has a lot of educational content in there. We’ve got blogs, vlogs, yoga with meditation and there. So what we’re trying to do is just put a little bit of a library in your pocket. There’s some incredible apps out there already. Um, from, you know, a lot of other mental health charities. We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel there. We want to try to just offer it and have a simple solution to find. You know, if you want to sit at home and, do some yoga, you can jump in there and get into some yoga, or if you want to track it wellness barge. And we know we’re building that capability. It’s just, so it’s about trying to make things as simple as possible because I think a lot of us over-complicate mental health and mental health. Isn’t one in four people who deal with it’s what four out of four people deal with. We all have mental health to deal with. And a lot of people over complicate that and too many facets, it’s a very, it’s a very simple concept. Mental illness is incredibly complicated, but our mental health in a, in a whole scheme is, and we just need to be making sure that we’re looking after ourselves. So we’re just trying to simplify that. So in particular, the use can do it with that too much stress.

Geoff (22:43):

I absolutely think that’s brilliant. So practical for people. And sometimes people have got to feel that they need to reinvent the wheel, do something a little bit different. Whereas if what you’re saying is there’s some good stuff out there. Let’s make it simplified for people to access all this. And we all have different issues with our mental health, we all feel different ways. So providing a whole range of things for people to access, make it less complicated for people to find what it is they need at that particular time. So I think that’s brilliant and hopefully everybody will get on board. And we’ll ask you at the end of the chat today, happy booking connect, and just please people have your, have a pen or something handy that you can use.

Matt (23:37):

We try to make that simple it’s, everything can be found at connection.org –  as simple as possible

Geoff (23:46):

So absolutely brilliant. Matt, you’ve been accepted into the Seeds of Change Accelerator Program, which is run by Mars Food Australia, I believe. And how did that come about? What does it actually mean?

Matt (24:02):

Yeah, that was, that was an incredible experience. So we, um, we found them, we found out about it, the day after the roadshow we are hosting Brisbane. Uh, and I went along and I was just, I was an absolute awe of listening to the GM at the time of Mars food, uh, Australia talking and how much he wanted to make a change in the entire food ecosystem. But actually it’s so much more at the same time for me, I looked at Mars as most people do, but I now know so much more than obviously Mars owns most food, uncle Ben’s, and that they spend incredible amounts of money on trying to make sustainable movements. And then they’ve got a harvest and the crop scheme that they put money into to try and create sustainable ways of re-energizing Glen. And we got to spend the best part of probably four months flying back and forth to Sydney and, um, Victoria and, and to their head office or go down there. And, um, I think it’s the Northern beaches that could be way off there, but nonetheless down there somewhere, um, and just learning off experts in packaging experts in community and social media branding, business development, and, uh, it was a real in-depth mentorship. So I think those a few hundred companies that applied and we were fortunate to be one of the 12 that got accepted, which for a little business based out of Brisbane was phenomenal. One of the other businesses in there was Fable food, which has now stocked across Australia and Coles and Woolworths, and is doing phenomenally well. So frustrated, rubbing shoulders with the guys like Michael Fox. He runs, that was a really great experience and we learn a lot from there and we still do stay in heavy contact with, um, with the, uh, the alumni from that, and also the, uh, the mentors from Mars as well. So that was a really cool experience. There program is on hold at the moment, so they won’t be running another one. So we were lucky to get the inaugural and the only for now, but, uh, I hear that they’re going to kick it off again, which would be great.

Geoff (26:09):

Certainly brilliant, so much learning and so many connections, uh, to use that word that you love so much is, uh, you know, networking is fantastic. And I think it just emphasizes the importance of connections. You have connections in this business sense that you can learn from and making human connection is so valuable for us every day. And we’ve been in lockdown to miss that is so significant and so important. People are able to get out and have some normality and try to make connection again with people. So, you know, again, I just applaud what you’re all about, and I think our listeners are getting a sense of why you won the Small Business Achiever Award this year as part of the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards. Matt, how did it feel to be firstly nominated? And of course, then you went on to make finals and win the award. What did that to for you personally and for the work that you do?

Matt 27:12):

Yeah. I mean, it was, I guess it’s final hard to put it in words, to be honest, because we worked so tirelessly and we just get caught up in the whole day in and day out of what the charity involved and never really looked recognition. You don’t even get an opportunity to come up for a lead line, look for a pat on the back. So just to be nominated was to me like Christmas day. It was actually one of the mentors from the Seeds of Change, Russell Rankin, who nominated me. So always massive thanks to Russ for that, but just to get nominated was fantastic. And then to make the finalists, rubbing shoulders with some of the guys within that bunch was, was fantastic. And what it sound to me personally, after having the win, the win in ourselves has never gone, but when someone else can throw support behind what you’re doing in a sense of winning an award, and I stood on the night, you know, it might be my name on that award, but that award is for everyone within the human connection project, in terms of staff and volunteers, but more importantly, everyone who shows up to our events and does that online training and reads out rates down material and learns from that. That’s what the award really was from the day. But for me personally, and just put some more wind in the sails and said, it was kind of like a tick in the box and say, yes, we are on the right direction. We are making change. It’s visible to others that we’re making a change and to keep on our course. Um, I’m a big believer in not needing gratification or needing any outside sources telling you you’re doing the right thing. So when it does come around, it’s, it’s really nice and incredibly humbling, but yeah, it was just reassurance so say that we are on the right track. We obviously, it’s now given us a fantastic opportunity to connect with more and more people, obviously like yourself and Annette and within that community, there’s also the Facebook group for the alumn from Awards Australia, which is also, I see posts there daily of people leaning on each other. And what has done is it’s built an even bigger network and has made an even bigger impact.

Geoff (29:20):

Yeah, that’s fantastic. And that’s what the awards am to do is provide validation. People like yourself, as you mentioned, don’t go looking for accolades. In fact, often you get too busy to even think about that. You’re just in there doing what needs to be done to make a difference, but it is really lovely when we get an unexpected pat on the back or a validation of what we’re doing makes it really special. And of course the Young Achiever Awards nominations, are now open across the country again for the 2020-2021 program. And I guess you’ve explained why you feel people should get out, nominate someone. People don’t have a lot of time and it takes a couple of minutes, let us know, get on onto awardsaustralia.com for any of our listeners who would like to nominate someone and start a nomination, could do it in two minutes, let us know. And we actually chase up with the nominee and do the work for you so important, uh, as I’m sure you’d agree, Matt too.

Geoff (30:23):

Absolutely. Like I said earlier, a lot of small business owners and especially the young ones within the community, not often coming out for air, it’s head down bump up 24/7. So even just getting the email to say nominated was an amazing feeling. So definitely encourage anyone who’s maybe thinking about it and thinks I don’t have time to let the nomination in and give that young person the credit that I’m sure they deserve.


Geoff (30:53):

Yeah, absolutely. I’d thought then, as you were saying before about the validation and, and it’s not just about you whilst your name’s on the trophy, as you rightly said, it’s about everybody volunteers, people involved in the charity. I have from time to time, people say, cos we’re always looking for new partners to become sponsors of the awards. That’s how we make it possible. Not government funded other than the government partners that come on board as a sponsor of a category, people say, Oh, well, we’re just going to be supporting one winner. And I say, you know what? It’s so much more than that. There’s a whole group of people in and around them that are part of their tribe, part of the journey. That we’ll all feel that win, who all feel the privilege of being nominated or becoming a semi-finalist finalist and so on, there are so many people, it’s not just one person in a nomination. And I think you’ve, uh, I guess they caught that in your comments.

Matt (32:05):

Yeah very much, absolutelty. And I think in every business that’s trying to make a positive impact. It’s the person at the front generally doesn’t want to be at the front. You know, I’d much rather people say dinosaur shack, near communication and just associated with Sony attends the events because at the end of it, it’s a community organization. No, it’s not a, it’s not a business run by a CEO. I’m a non ISX listed where just trying to make a difference within our local community.



Geoff (32:36):

And one of the thing we, things that we love is that we are providing awareness about projects, programs such as the human connection for people who may not have known what opportunities are available to learn. So that’s another absolute bonus. Man on a slightly different tack, what’s something that we might not know about you?

Matt (33:04):

Um heaps, I guess probably the most exciting thing is that as well as the, um, Human Connection Project, I’ve been trying to get into the Queensland Fire and Rescue service for the past nine years. I graduated from that in two weeks. So I’ll be a full-time firefighter, uh, alongside being the Human Connection Project as well.






Thank you.

Geoff (33:30):

Yeah. It sounds like hard work and pretty dangerous business.

Matt (33:34):

Yeah. I mean it is, but know you wake up every day being able to make a positive impact on the community. And I would like to think I’ve been doing that for the last few years. It’s a human connection project. It just gives me an even and even larger opportunity to do that within the community as well,

Geoff (33:51):

Saving lives in a different way.

Matt (33:54):

Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Geoff (33:56):

Yeah, Matt, um, what are the driving passions that make you tick and continue to achieve awesome results?

Matt (34:08):

Uh, it’s probably two big ones, man – It’s connection and family. Uh, my partner, Sarah will be the first one to tell anyone that whenever there is a father daughter moment in a movie, I’m, uh, I’m usually a dribbling mess. You know, family to me is I wouldn’t be anywhere without my parents and my sister and they’ve supported me through some  times with also the amazing times of presence. So I think family is a massive one and I always want to do them proud. And I want to be able to say in 10 years’ time, to my kids and all my future kids that dad stood up when a lot of people were falling down with a mental illness problems. And then the second one is connection. I get a buzz from just being a fly on the wall and listening to conversations within the human connection project, Facebook group or Facebook posts. I mean, we had two people connect on one of our Facebook posts just yesterday about running their own walk and talk in the gold coast. So yeah, family connection yang gets me out of bed every single day and, and hopefully we’ll do it for the rest of my life.

Geoff (35:10):

Yeah, you’re really right about this thing. And I think too many times we listen to respond rather than listen to hear wait, we just really just need to listen to people, let them talk, not want to answer with what we want them to know or hear. So yeah, you’re really right about that. And family, you know, I think it’s easy for people to support us when things are good, but it’s those that are there when, when times are tough, that really stand out that day.

Matt (35:43):

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Geoff (35:47):

So you’re, I’m going to fire and rescue. Is there anything else that’s on the, on the radar for Matt Boyce in terms of Human Connection Project or any other hobbies or things that you’re looking at?

Matt (36:02):

Yeah. We’re trying to launch a lot more walk and talk events. We’re currently looking for ambassadors to run, walk and talks in their own local area. We’ve got a couple that are in the Shire now down at Granola. Um, we’re looking at Barn and a few more over in Perth, so we’re really just trying to get a larger national footprint with that. And, uh, we’ve also partnered up with the amazing Gaza TEACs, which is the charity arm of Trademark who are going to be presenting our human connection course, uh, through their trained psychologists and TX to take students, which will be really, really cool.

Geoff (36:38):

Fantastic. It’s amazing. You’ve given us plenty of words of wisdom already. Do you have any others for our listeners that you can impart?

Matt (36:47):

Something I’m working really hard on at the moment is PTSD. Uh, and in particular ex-service men and women that coming back from military. PTSD stay in people that have very stressful jobs. Victoria, for example, what I’m saying is a lot of people are taking their own life very sadly, and it’s getting put down to PTSD, which I always like to make a note. I am not a psychologist, but I think PTSD is definitely a thing. I’m not trying to discredit that, but I think a lot of people gone under the radar of lack of, uh, stress disorder. So their lives are so stressful. You know, a carpenter works a 10 hour day every single day. I  know a cop who just committed suicide, unfortunately in  Melbourne last week. And they work every single day, 10 hours a day, very, very hard. They’ve probably got two or three people working underneath them, coronavirus hits and all of a sudden the stress that they have in their life almost goes to zero. They’ve got a new stress now with coronavirus, but it’s no India we’re dealing with. And the way I look at that as if you’re a 10 cigarette smoker a day and you got cold turkey, it’s  very, very hard and your body goes into withdrawal and you start shaking trembling or whatever else happens. I think the same is happening with PTSD for some people. And it’s something I want to do, some really thorough research into is how many people are, have stressful lives, ex-service men and women, for example, go away and come back. And then they have no stress in their life. And that’s where they’re struggling. The way you maybe have to go from 10 cigarettes a day to eight cigarettes, to six to four, to three, to two, to zero with their stress. And that’s something that know, that’s my words of wisdom, I guess, wanted to, I’m going to pass on to people is, can look into that and, and look into people that are around them that they know have very stressful lives that are now doing nothing with coronavirus. You know, they’re sitting at home or they’re struggling with the fact that they’ve lost their job or are they struggling with the fact that they’ve lost any stress that have in their life? So it’s just an interesting theory that I’m working with at the moment and something that I like everyone to think into a little.

Geoff (39:03):

Yeah. It’s a great way to think about things and a new way for many of us. And I think one of the problems we have is judging people because we just don’t know what the situation is for some to give up cigarettes. Did you use that analogy? Maybe easy. Some can go cold Turkey. I don’t know how, but, and I’ve never smoked, but they can. And others just really struggle and don’t judge people just understand their, um, the situation. So I think you’re spot on. I love that. I really, you’re really very intuitive and I am, uh, I admire that and I feel that you’re going to make such a difference through your life for people in whatever area you tend or wish to go into beyond the human connection project. And I can see that expanding as you conceive new ideas and ways to do that. So all power to you, mate. It’s absolutely brilliant! Well, how can our listeners connect with you online or even get involved?

Matt (40:09):

Yeah, definitely. I mean, connection.org.au is where you can find out all the info and, uh, you can also put in an application to become an ambassador and, um, and host a walk and talk in your local community can jump in. We’ve got out online fundamentals course on that to teach you a little bit deeper about our pillars and how you can connect a for any community. And then there’s also links to our social media there, but yeah, everything can be found at connection.org.au and we’d love to have you join our community.

Geoff (40:38):

Fantastic, connection.org.au Yes?






Fantastic. That’s been a real privilege to chat with you today. Thank you so much for all that you do in the community. You are an extraordinary young guy, really aiming to make such an broad difference to people, to you and your team. Congratulations. And thank you on behalf of everybody in Australia and beyond keep up the amazing work. And I hope you’ve enjoyed the chat as much as I have Matt.



Matt (41:12):

Absolutely. Thanks so much, Geoff it’s um, yeah, it’s been an absolute honor to be on the podcast and chat with you today. So really grateful.

Matt (41:19):

Absolute pleasure and a hope our listeners have enjoyed it as well.

I hope you enjoyed today’s interview as much as I have. We would love you to subscribe to our podcast so that you won’t miss an episode. Join us each week, as we talk with ordinary Australians achieving extraordinary things. Did you know that Awards Australia is a family owned business that proudly makes a difference in the lives of those that make a difference for others. And we thank our corporate and not for profit partners for making our awards programs possible. Do you know someone that’s making a difference or maybe your business might like to sponsor an award, contact us through our Instagram page, inspirational.australians or head to our website awardsaustralia.com. It would be great if you could share this episode with your network because who doesn’t like a good news story and please rate and review us. We would really love to hear your thoughts until next week, stay safe and remember, together we make a difference.


Annette (42:29):

Thanks for joining us today on the inspirational Australians podcast, we hope you enjoyed listening and have been inspired by ordinary Australians, achieving extraordinary things. So it’s goodbye for another week. Remember, together we make a difference.