Matt Cowdrey OAM

Matt Cowdrey OAM

Member for Colton in the House of Assembly

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About Matt

Matt is a Paralympian, business professional and long-standing western suburbs local with the skills, experience and hard-working attitude that the people of Colton deserve in their state representative.

From an early age, Matt learnt that hard work, focus and perseverance pays off. Matt was born with a congenital amputation of his left arm and through grit and self-belief, Matt always found ways to succeed. The discipline, focus and work ethic Matt demonstrated whilst winning 13 Paralympic gold medals in swimming, combined with his charity and local community work, makes him a strong advocate for Colton residents.

Prior to Parliament, Matt worked as a business adviser for leading international firm KPMG and he has a strong history in advocating for the needs of children and those with disabilities, as a Board Director of Variety Children’s Charity and as an Ambassador for the Be-Active Challenge.

Matt has a focus on improving essential services in the western suburbs and always stands up for the local community. In the short time he has been in parliament, he has increased operating hours at the Henley Beach Police Station and returned 24/7 cardiac services to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital – casualties of funding cuts by the previous Labor government – as well as delivering a $48m coastal policy to restore our metropolitan coastline. Matt has also fought for and secured upgrades and improvements for local community infrastructure, including the installation of safety bollards at Henley Square, the resealing of Sir Donald Bradman Drive and upgrades to TQEH.

Matt is passionate about his work in the community and enjoys working with local residents on the issues they care about and advocating on their behalf.

Career Highlights:

  • Graduated from the University of Adelaide with double degrees in law and media.
  • In 2013, undertook a three-month fellowship with US congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
  • Competed at the 2004, 2008, 2012 Paralympic Games and the 2006, 2010, 2014 Commonwealth Games.
  • Is the most successful Australian Paralympian, having won 13 Paralympic gold medals and 23 Paralympic medals in total over these games.
  • In 2005 awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to sport.
  • In 2009 named the Young South Australian of the Year.
  • In 2012 the South Australian Aquatic & Leisure Centre named its main competition pool after Cowdrey.
  • Is an inductee of the Australian Sport Hall of Fame and Swimming South Australia Hall of Fame.
  • Team General Manager of the Australian team at the 2015 (Samoa) and 2017 (Bahamas) Commonwealth Youth Games.