Matt Pfahlert

CEO/Co-Founder | ACRE - Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship | Australia

Matt is a pioneering social entrepreneur, with a long-standing commitment to rural Australia. As co-founder and CEO of ACRE, Matt is driving the renewal of Australia’s rural communities so that future generations may thrive. As founder of the Typo Station Youth Project, Matt started his first social enterprise in 1993 at the age of 23, working with ‘at risk’ young people in wilderness settings, this led to his Young Australian of the Year Award in 1996. In 2013, Matt undertook a Churchill Fellowship to study social enterprise and entrepreneurship education for rural rejuvenation in the UK and North America.  In 2016, Matt led a $2.7M community buy-back of the Old Beechworth Gaol. A neglected Australian heritage icon famed for its connection to Ned Kelly. The site is being re-purposed as an exemplar of social enterprise and rural rejuvenation. In partnership with Scotland’s renowned Social Enterprise Academy (SEA), ACRE is supporting the next generation of social entrepreneurs in primary and secondary schools as well as underserved communities across the country. Matt is a passionate advocate for community-led approaches to building an agile, resilient and enterprising rural Australia.