Matthew Albert is the co-founder of the Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program, a volunteer, non-profit, secular organisation that provides free English support and community services to the Sudanese refugee community in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, Australia. 2011 marks a decade of community service by the SAIL Program, which now has over 1000 people attending each week.
Matthew was awarded the Victorian Young Australian of the Year in 2005, as well as being named one of the ten Outstanding Young People of the World by the Junior Chamber International.
Matthew was selected by the Australian government to be Australia’s Regional Youth Caucus (RYC) Representative in 2005 and continued in this role until 2008. He has represented Australia and the Pacific region at international meetings in Fiji, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, the Bahamas, Uganda, the Cook Islands, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, French Polynesia and Tonga.
In 2008, Matthew was elected to the position of Pan-Commonwealth Youth Caucus Chairperson – the first Australian to be appointed to the role. In that capacity, Matthew chaired the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009 and Uganda in 2007. In 2009, Matthew became the first young person to address all Commonwealth Heads of Government. He is the Special Advisor to the Planning Committee of the Commonwealth Youth Forum being hosted in Perth in 2011.
Matthew is a founding trustee of the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust, and a board member of the Wesley Institute for Innovation in Education and the Melbourne Refugee Sanctuary Group.
Matthew completed his undergraduate law degree at the University of Melbourne, and his postgraduate degree at the University of Oxford, UK. He practices full-time as a barrister and lectures in public law at the Melbourne University Law School.
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