My Place: Matthew Gleeson

21/11//18 North Photography Issue 27/11 MyPlace Matthew Gleeson Pic Marco De Luca

By Jessica Micallef

What is your connection to the Sunbury/Macedon area?

My partner grew up in Woodend. I had no connection with the area before we met. I grew up in East Gippsland and moved to Melbourne when I was 19. We were looking for somewhere to settle down and Sunbury seemed to have everything we were looking for.

How long have you lived in the area?

Thirteen years in February. I always remember as we moved here on my son’s second birthday.

What are you passionate about?

Oh lots of things, but if I had to narrow it down to just three, it would be social justice, live music and photography.

Tell me about how you became involved at Sunbury Community Health?

I’ve worked as an educator and a counsellor for nearly 20 years in the alcohol and other drugs sector. A counselling role was advertised around four years ago and I liked the idea of working close to home. I’ve been employed here ever since.

Tell me about the 16 Days of Activism event?

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign that runs from November 25 through to December 10. Organisations and individuals across the world participate in the campaign to promote gender equality as it has been well evidenced that gender inequality is a driver of violence against women.

What other hats do you wear in the community?

Until recently I was on the committee of management of Sunbury Neighbourhood House and I’m currently involved with the working group that is putting on the Goonawarra/Rolling Meadows Share the Love Festival which is happening December 6 at the Goonawarra Community Centre.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

In my spare time I work as a live music photographer. I’ve had the opportunity to work with international and local acts. I’ve got a book of my photography coming out in December documenting a bunch of punk bands playing across Australia.

What is the best thing about Sunbury and the Macedon Ranges?

I love that Sunbury still retains a country town feel, but also offers a gateway into everything else that Melbourne has to offer. It’s been a great place to raise my kids.

If you could change anything about the area, what would it be?

I would love to see more mental health services located in Sunbury.