Matt was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia and currently lives in Byron Bay, Northern New South Wales. From 2004-2012 he played professional sport in the AFL (Australian Rules Football) league. After finishing up in the AFL he continued playing competitive football until retiring in late 2016 after 12 years of senior competition.
In 2014 he began a business called ‘365 Days of Wholeness’ with his friend Tegan. They also co-authored and released a book together in 2015 also called ‘365 Days of Wholeness’. Together they ran many health retreats both in Victoria, Australia and over in Bali, Indonesia as well as personally coached many individuals. A year ago they decided to pursue their own ventures and that’s when Matt began working on the concept behind SOA (seeds of awareness) and eventually launched it with his girlfriend Steph.
Matt also has many hobbies including guitar playing and song writing, hiking, reading and writing, riding his motorbike, hitting the gym and he is also very family oriented believing that a tight and connected family unit built on trust and authenticity is crucial for wellbeing and happiness. He has certificates in holistic health, nutrition, and coaching from the University of Natural Health.
Steph was raised a child in Adelaide, Australia before moving to Sydney, then Melbourne, and now currently lives in Byron Bay with Matt. She has been through a number of hardships in her life but nothing can break her indomitable will and strength. As a teenager she suffered from a debilitating eating disorder that found her institutionalised for a number of years. Eating disorders have the highest rates of mortality (1 out of every 5 sufferer dies) and so her recovery has been slow and has required much effort and therapy. She has never given up however and is doing better than ever and as a result of the eating disorder she has been on an incredible journey of healing and self discovery. Her challenge with this eating disorder has also spawned her passion to help other people in the same position and to let them know that there is hope and to keep holding on and she hopes that through SOA she can provide inspiration through her vulnerability and openness about what she has been through.
Her passions include Yoga (she is a qualified instructor), fitness, writing, hiking in nature, and spending time with family and friends.
Matt and Steph met back in early 2014 whilst they were both at the gym. Both had been at parties the night before and were at the gym to work off the alcohol they had drunk. Matt was finishing up his session and doing some stretches when Steph walked in. There was something about her that instantly captured his full attention. She was cute as hell but there was something else, it’s as if he could see her soul glowing brightly through her body and he felt as if he had known her for a long time. He had seen many attractive women before but had never felt like this. He knew that if he didn’t find a way to talk to her he would regret it deeply and so he extended his stretching session much longer than it needed to be.
Steph was wearing headphones and seemed to be in her own world but he could swear that she had given him a few glances and they were all the signs he needed. Finally she took her headphones off and went into another room to do some skipping. Matt wandered in there and pretended to be doing some ab exercises. He had done a fair bit of skipping in the past so in between one of her sets he decided to challenge her and said “hey, I think I could do that better than you”. He felt this was a risky move and didn’t know how she would take the slight dig at her, but what he didn’t know was how ultra competitive Steph was. She looked at him with a semi disbelieving smile and held out the skipping rope… “prove it!”
So Matt grabbed the rope and having not skipped for about 10 years he didn’t know if his body would remember how to do it. But it did remember so he decided to go for it and attempted a couple of cross-overs and nailed them. Feeling a bit chuffed and with a big smile he handed it back to her, “ok, your turn”. Steph grabbed the rope and despite no doubt being a much better skipper she went for a cross-over and it got caught on her leg. Not daring to miss the opportunity Matt began to playfully tease her. They ended up chatting for a bit and met up the next week for a date and the rest is history.