Matthew George lived in the Lake Goldsmith Stockyard Hill area in Victoria all his life. He attended primary and secondary schools in Beaufort before transferring to Ballarat College in year 11. At age 19 he purchased a property about 7 kilometres from his parents’ farm. Matthew died in November 2007 aged 21 as a result of a motor vehicle crash close to home.
From the time Matthew could walk he was his father’s shadow. Matthew embraced farm life from that point on. He was a natural at handling stock whether it be sheep or cattle but as he grew older, cattle (and Black Angus cattle in particular) became his passion. He loved to prepare his animals for the show ring and the sale ring and provided the same service to other leading cattle studs in Victoria.
Matthew was like a sponge when it came to genetics. He would study every stud sale catalogue, American and Canadian Angus Journals and kept them as a ready reference. When Matthew went to a Stud cattle sale he would already have chosen the cattle he would like to purchase. He wasn’t successful in purchasing all the cattle he liked because the ones he had selected usually went for the highest prices.
Matthew’s dream was to travel to Canada on a working holiday. He wanted to stay at some of the Stud ranches where they welcomed the help and in exchange gave you a first-hand experience on how their operation worked. Matthew really wanted to see the Angus genetics in Canada as he believed this was where his own Angus Stud would benefit the most. His quest was to find the magic genetics that would elevate his Stud Stock to be the breeding stock that other cattle breeders wanted to place in their breeding herds
Following Matthew’s death, the Angus cattle family of Australia rallied together, along with local business from Beaufort and Ballarat area in Victoria, to form The Matthew George Young Stockman Award in his memory.
In September 2008, a Dinner and Auction was held following the Angus Judging Day at the Royal Melbourne Show (one of Matthew’s favourite arenas). It was an euphoric night, with donations ranging from elite Angus semen, embryos and heifers, travel vouchers, tanks, 4WD motorbike sprayers, farm clothing and bus hire to a cruise down the Yarra River, as well as many other items being put up for auction.
The Chiller family hosted the Dinner and Auction at the Treacy Function Centre in Parkville, Padthaway Estate provided the wines, and many of Matthew’s school friends donated their time to wait tables and serve drinks. For many of Matthew’s family and friends and his Angus cattle family, it was a night everyone thought might be sad, but instead, the atmosphere in the room was electric and helped play a part in the grieving process for many who were there that night. The auction raised close to $90,000 for the establishment of the “Matthew George Young Stockman Award.”
With the help of The Ballarat Foundation, the Matthew George Young Stockman Award Sub-Fund was established. The Ballarat Foundation manages the applications and distribution of funds to the successful applicants, following recommendations from the Award Judging Panel.
Live your dream
This annual Award is offered nationally in July with the winner being announced at the Royal Melbourne Show. The Award provides an opportunity for young breeders, aged 18 to 25 years, to undertake an overseas study tour of beef cattle breeding programs, developments and practices. As well, they act as young ambassadors for the beef cattle industry in Australia.
“Our humble and heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in establishing this Award. Your generosity is enabling the future generation of young Australian Cattle Breeders to broaden their global knowledge of the Beef Cattle Industry. We can all share with pride and joy the transformation of the Award Winners on their return.
They have greater self-confidence and knowledge of the cattle industry as well as a network of newfound friends and industry leaders in other countries with whom they can share their passion for cattle breeding over a lifetime. Their journeys have been amazing.”
Award application & criteria
Applications for the 2019 award will open in June.
For reference, you can download the award criteria here.
Past Award Winners
2018 Jack Nelson
2017 Aimee Bolton & Caitlin Chester
2016 Natalie Grylls
2015 Jake Taylor and Josh McRae
2014 Jackie Elliott
2013 Kate Henne & Shannon Lawlor
2012 Cameron Cutler
2011 Tahnee Manton
2010 Rachel Wheeler
2009 Clare Bruggemann