Matt and Max met each other when they were 12 years old at high school in northern New South Wales. They grew up in small towns with funny names, on swims in the local water holes and secret nights out watching bands at the Byron Arts Factory (when Byron Bay was actually affordable...).
Major achievements were winning the local U/18s rugby league comp, a lot of washed denim and burning the dance floor at Blue Light Discos.
Instead of becoming hippies or farmers or both, as many in the Northern Rivers do, they went their separate ways. Matt gravitated towards law, Max found himself in cardiology.
Max dropped cardiology for acting. A natural career progression if there was ever one. However, it was what was happening behind the camera that got him excited. He went on to make documentaries and films the world over. Along the way he’s lost more passports and phones than he can remember.
Matt tried acting too but only to keep people awake in his corporate presentations. As that world didn’t push his buttons, he moved from financing content to making it.
Eventually this pair of anti-inner-city hipsters realised they wanted to rekindle a few dreams. The ones they had as kids growing up. There was so much in the world, and the beyond, to explore and to share.
Ironbark was born. Their shared passion for stories that open our eyes and see things differently has become the cornerstone of their approach. They work together on their own passion projects, but also with plenty of others who’ve a great yarn to tell too.
Ironbark takes its name from the cheeky Banjo Paterson poem “The Man From Ironbark” about the laid back, wide-eyed country bloke visiting Sydney. He’s looking for a simple shave, but finds a barber playing a devilish joke with a razor blade.
As yet no-one has tried to slit Matt or Max's throats – though it's just a matter of time in the TV game. But for good measure they’re staying true to at least one sentiment of the poem:
…And whether he’s believed or no, there’s one thing to remark, that flowing beards are all the go way up in Ironbark.