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TAFE NSW graduate on his transformation from homeless to CEO

TAFE NSW Newcastle

TAFE NSW graduate on his transformation from homeless to CEO

TAFE NSW Graduate Matt Kratiuk

Matt Kratiuk has overcome drug addiction, homelessness, and a life of criminality to become founder and CEO of a rapidly growing digital marketing agency on the East Coast, an inspirational speaker and Vinnies CEO Sleepout ambassador.

It’s a remarkable transformation that took time and hard work, starting with a desire for a better future and a TAFE NSW course.

Matt had been living on the streets and was a member of a notorious biker gang, battling a 15-year drug addiction and engaging in criminal behaviour to fund his habit.

He was determined to achieve something more, so he sought drug and alcohol support to gain control of his life and in 2014, enrolled at TAFE NSW Newcastle to study a Certificate IV in Business.

“I was a really broken guy when I started studying at TAFE NSW and I left there feeling a sense of worth. TAFE NSW Newcastle helped me to reinvent myself by giving me a sense of pride, satisfaction and made me realize I can go on to do whatever I put my mind to,” he said.

“TAFE NSW ignited a fire inside of me which made me realise I know I can study, I know I can learn, and I just want to keep learning. My teacher had a great depth of information to share, and she really encouraged me to continue when I doubted myself. She was remarkable.”

When Matt graduated, the CEO of hipages took a chance on him and he worked his way up to senior management over several years. Matt has now launched a digital marketing agency, Cliqued Digital, six months ago.

His business is growing rapidly and he is now volunteering to help young people on a similar path to what he was by being an ambassador for Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

TAFE NSW Business Services teacher Leanne Cherry explains the Certificate IV in Business equips graduates with the unique needs for today’s business and corporate environments.

“Students gain broad business knowledge, learn to apply critical thinking to work practices, and develop leadership skills to gain knowledge in a range of business functions including management, economics, finance, technology, marketing, communications, and people management.”

The business course has been designed in consultation with industry to ensure students learn the practical skills to lay the foundations on how to engage, articulate and work effectively in the world of business.

“With our employer connections and industry-aligned training, students are well-placed to gain a job in the business services sector upon graduation,” Ms Cherry said. 

To find out more about studying business at TAFE NSW, visit or call 131 601.