Matthew is a Harm Reduction practitioner and Peer Networker with Harm Reduction Victoria & North Richmond Community Health Centre.
Matthew lives on the North Richmond Estate and took on the role of Peer Networker with HRVic’s Peer Network Program in 2014. Matthew is a familiar and friendly face to the drug using community in North Richmond and this has been proven over time with the level of trust and confidence shown to him by People Who Inject Drugs.
This has been evident many times when people have chosen to contact Matthew when things have gone wrong, even though people know to call 000 in the event of an overdose, Matthew is still the first point of call for a lot of people. There have been countless times that Matthew has arrived at the scene of an overdose before the paramedics.
As a first responder, Matthew has administered life saving naloxone on multiple occasions and there have been many times when he has responded without the advantage of naloxone which required him to provide rescue breathing until the ambulance arrived.
Regardless of naloxone being available, Matthew responded to every situation he was called to with professionalism and compassion that only a peer could. In fact Matthew was an amazing peer worker before a peer position ever existed.
He is one of the genuine ‘organic’ peer workers who has been doing it with no recognition for most of his life. Only now is he starting to get some of the acknowledgement that he deserves and more recently he has moved into a paid position with North Richmond Community Health.