By Tricia Reardon

With his father and older brother working in the creative advertising world, it was odds on that Matt too would choose to enter the same field. Thirty years on and he’s now the Managing Director of The Creative Works, a communications agency that is heavily focused on the not-for profit sector. Having worked for the big three in his early career (George Patterson, Clemenger and JWT), Matt prefers the impact his agency has on making people’s lives better through the creation of standout communications strategies that build socially-minded brands.

With a strong alignment of values, it’s not too difficult to understand why Matt has chosen to join Rotary. In fact, Matt began working alongside Rotary some fifteen years ago when his agency helped create the communications strategy around the Rotary Mitre 10 ‘Clean Up Australia’ campaign. There have been other Rotary projects along the way as well, but more recent ones include the Rotary Safe Families and The G’Day Network campaigns.

Matt has a sincere desire to use his marketing and communications skills to help others and communities. After all, his work connects people – the messaging that his team creates brings people together through conversations that educate, entertain and even change behaviour. It’s an opportunity to make a positive social difference, and Matt is keen to share this experience with younger Rotarians.  

The newly chartered CEO Rotary Satellite Club has been ideal for Matt to become involved with Rotary in a more substantial way, but at the same time, balance his work and family commitments. His two teenaged children also keep Matt and his wife, Belinda, very busy.  

As with so many people running a business, COVID has presented challenges for Matt and his team. Working from home is not ideal when the creative process relies heavily on bouncing ideas off one another. Then there’s the equipment, such as large design machines that have had to be installed in the homes of staff members. However, being creative people, his team have developed creative ways to deal with these challenges and going forward, Matt sees permanent change to the way his team works.

 

Being flexible to change is something Matt believes is critical to remaining viable, even for Rotary. The new CEO Satellite Club concept is certainly a change to the normal Rotary club format with its monthly meetings and focus only on two or three strategic areas. He also believes that “filling the funnel with younger people” is really important for Rotary if it is to remain relevant to the times in which we live.