Shock! was the word that described Matt’s reaction at being appointed head boy in 1992. Apparently Form 5 and Form 6 Matt had a reputation that was not that of a future head boy. But as it turned out he (and Angela Munro – head girl) did a fantastic job that year. Matt was an academic, very much into sciences and also had a passion for French. French wasn’t his only passion – Matt soon took a liking to a German AFS exchange student, Corinna Heineke, who arrived at the start of their 7th Form year. These two became an ‘item’ and by the end of the year they were inseparable, and still are; Matt and Corinna married after being together for a number of years and now live in Berlin, Germany.
Matt was also a keen debater at school.
Matt graduated from University with a BSc Biology in 19, MSc Marine Science in 19 and PhD Marine Science from Uni in 19. He worked for the Ministry of Fisheries, Wellington before making his way to Germany. He now focuses on research. In Berlin/Eubylon he has been working on Metrinomics Research Technologies. Presently Matt is doing research in Newcastle at the University there. Currently he is involved in projects in Tanzania and South Africa. He has had many enjoyable trips around the world but New Zealand is still the most beautiful and natural country he has seen.
On one of his trips Matt remembers running into Stephanie Gollan at Jaisalmer Fort in Western India and thinking how people from Matamata College travel so widely and how many have become quite famous. He couldn’t believe how great it was to run into a familiar and friendly face in such a far-flung place.
When asked to recount any interesting snippets Matt recalls. “I worked in project management and translation for a number of years in Germany before returning to New Zealand to restart my science career. I enjoyed living in Berlin and travelling widely but wanted to get back into marine science research.
It has been an adventure starting a completely new career, but now working in aquaculture research and teaching in the UK, while keeping a base in Berlin, is really great fun. I have been working in Tanzania and am expanding my research into South Africa and hopefully can get back to New Zealand to do some research soon.”