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Victorian MP Matthew Bach (b. 1983) was in foster care as an infant before being adopted.

Matthew was born in Melbourne to an unwed couple. His biological parents were a young Australian mother and a Greek immigrant father. As Mathew explains, they were unable to care for him, so “they made the selfless decision to place me into care” (Sky News).

Matthew’s first and only foster placement was through the Brotherhood of St James and St John, which was established as a Mission in 1919. At the time it was led by the Rev Alan Nichols, and has since been amalgamated with other organisations to form Anglicare Victoria.

As an infant, Matthew lived with a foster family. He was then placed into permanent care with “a wonderful family” who later adopted him. His adoptive parents are Heather, who was a school teacher, and Neil, who was a minister of religion.

They called me Matthew because it means “gift from God” (Sky News).

Matthew received a partial scholarship to attend Melbourne Grammar School and he graduated in 2001.  He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, followed by a Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning at Charles Darwin University.

Matthew was awarded a PhD in History from the University of Melbourne in 2018. In 2020, he published a book based on his thesis: Combating London’s Criminal Class: A State Divided, 1869-95 (Bloomsbury).

Matthew’s teaching career included positions at prestigious schools in the United Kingdom and Australia. He taught History and Politics at Carey Baptist Grammar school, where he was also a senior leader and Board member. Matthew later became the Deputy Principal and Head of the Senior School at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School. He also taught history at the University of Melbourne.

In 2006, Matthew began a career in politics as an advisor to Mary Woolridge, former leader of the Liberal Party of Victoria. He was a lead advisor on policy reforms to prevent violence against women, protect vulnerable children from abuse, and establish schools in youth justice facilities.

People have asked me what compelled me to leave a role in education, a career in education, for a seemingly very different calling here in this place with you. The answer really is very straightforward: I have always been driven to enable others to have opportunities. And for me that is personal (Vic. Parliament).

In 2020, Matthew was appointed to the Victorian Legislative Council to fill a casual vacancy left by Mary Woolridge. He began representing the North-Eastern District when legislative districts were redistributed in November 2022.

Matthew was appointed as Shadow Minister for Child Protection in September 2021. In December 2022, he became Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Shadow Minister for Education.

Matthew and his wife, Amy, live in Eastern Melbourne. They have two daughters, five-year-old Phoebe, and one-year-old Alice.

Matthew is a strong advocate for child protection system reform. He believes that greater investment is needed in evidenced-based early intervention supports to keep children and families safely together. This includes expanding the availability of mental health, domestic violence, and substance abuse services for vulnerable families.

… for a decade the very best evidence has made it plain that Victoria’s crisis-driven child protection system must be radically reoriented, to prevention and early intervention (The Age).

Matthew is also concerned about over-representation of Indigenous children in the care system. He advocates for Indigenous-led programmes and culturally appropriate service delivery.

The system can work really well, as it did for me. Yet today, for Indigenous kids, it’s broken (The Guardian).

Matthew is committed to improving outcomes for children and young people in care. He is concerned about placement instability, youth justice involvement, and abuse and deaths of children in the care system.

Matthew believes that foster and kinship carers should be offered greater financial support. He also aims to reduce barriers to barriers to adoption for children who cannot return home to their families, especially within the LGBTQ+ community.

The best way to help vulnerable kids is to keep them out of Victoria’s broken child protection system in the first place (Sky News).


“Dr Matthew Bach.” Parliament of Victoria website.

“Meet Matt.” Matt Bach MP website.

Bach, Matthrew. “Matthew Bach MP: The Victorian child protection system to which I owe so much is now ‘fatally flawed’ and in dire need of an overhaul.” 22 May 2023, Sky News.

Bach, Matthrew. ” Matthew Bach MP: Victoria’s child protection system is a disgraceful failure – here is my plan to fix it.” 9 Jan 2023, Sky News.

Bach, Matthrew. “One in nine Indigenous babies are taken from their parents in Victoria. The system is failing 8”, The Guardian, Nov 2022.

Bach, Matthew. “Child protection needs radical rethink.” 10 May 2021, The Age.

Bach, Matthew. “Innaugrual Speech.” 18 Mar 2020, Parliament of Victoria.

Image available here.