An e-mail sent to Rachel from Ollie, a former work colleague, on Monday 25 June:
At the risk of invading you privacy at an unprecedented time, and by way of self-introduction, my name is Ollie, and your terrifyingly beautiful communications have been forwarded to me from a long-term friend and colleague, Graeme Bartrim. They have been the most gut-wrenching, but also the most strangely and deeply moving missives that I (and i believe many others) have ever read. I salute your loving eloquence.
Graeme and I had the joint privilege of interviewing a young Matthew at Santos in about 1996 when he, as you would expect, blitzed the competition and became the first staff-member of Graeme’s nascent, but rapidly growing Brisbane-based E Team. Much has happened and Matthew has continued to soar in all facets of life…home, work and all else it would seem. My most recent encounter was working for him as a consultant – managing the preparation of the APLNG EIS. My wife, Sue, and I remember entertaining him at home over dinner during one of his visits to Adelaide in the late 1990s (where he charmed the pants off both Sue and young daughter Lari) and then being introduced to Diane at Graeme’s wedding some 7 years ago.
From this, you can probably see that I am one of those on the outer ring of the ‘concentric rippling rings’ of family and the many friends and colleagues that Matthew has attracted of the course of his life. We have all been shocked, saddened and greatly sobered by what you have told us so well, and with such loving compassion and courage. We are greatly encouraged by your most recent news, but also realise that a long and tortuous journey lays ahead. Let me assure you, that at the appropriate time, there will be many (including my family and the 5 friends and colleagues of Matthew that I have been carefully and judiciously relaying messages to…in Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane) who will do whatever is possible to help and assist Matthew and his family – as the needs become apparent.
Over the years, we have all recognised Matthew as a special and remarkable human ‘bean’ but now realise that the fabulous genetic stream that he inherited is not confined but shared…for which we are truly grateful.
Much love and warmth to all,
Ollie…and many others.
General Manager Community Relations, Energy