2018 Winner: Volunteer of the Year Award

Mathew Townsend

Brisbane

Mathew Townsend is a disability advocate, adventurer, environmentalist and sustainability champion from Brisbane. In his youth, Mathew was diagnosed with autism and suffers from profound hearing loss. Mathew channelled his experience overcoming personal challenges and graduated with a Master of Environmental Management from the University of Queensland. Mathew now advocates to ensure landcare and community groups are socially inclusive and accessible for people of all abilities.

Mathew is also a founder of Nature Freedom, a social enterprise which helps young people with disabilities and mental health issues find employment and improve their leadership skills. He believes that by nurturing youth and encouraging diversity in environmental fields, our chances of protecting the environment will increase for generations to come.