Matt Tilley leaps ‘river from FM to AM’ filling in on ABC Radio Melbourne Breakfast

Radio personality turned philanthropist, Matt Tilley, is filling in for Sammy on ABC Radio Melbourne this week, presenting on AM for the first time. 

Matt caught up with Radio Today to talk about trying his hand at AM, the radio content machine and seeing the impact of the cost of living crisis first-hand. 

At the time of writing, Matt is the acting CEO of Foodbank – balancing his responsibilities with ABC’s Radio Melbourne’s Breakfast program for the week while Sammy J is on holiday. 

Initially, Matt didn’t think he could manage both but felt he needed to “walk the walk” after encouraging his kids to try everything.

As a result, Matt “leapt across the river from FM to AM,” bringing years of experience from the other side.

“Look, it’s good, but it’s definitely different,” he said. 

“You talk for longer, there are less songs to figure out what the hell you’re going to say next. . . but, it’s not as daunting as I expected.” 

“I guess it’s more long-form versions of things rather than that whole 3-minute hit.”

“I’m adapting a little bit each day. If you love the sound of your own voice, the chance to hear it more can’t be too much of a challenge, right?” 

The former Fox FM favourite spent over six years as the number one Melbourne Breakfast show alongside Jo Stanley and says finding the content is still natural, but it’s a “hungry beast.”

“At the end of every show, you get an hour or two to just relax, and then you’re like, gosh, we start again,” Matt said.

“That constantly just having a brain ticking over about ‘what’s next-what’s next? What are we going to talk about tomorrow?’ But in a way, I’ve also enjoyed that in these couple of days.”

“Jo Stanley used to say it beautifully – we were very lucky to have eight odd years at number one together – and when people would go, are you excited, are you celebrating? she said, ‘Ratings don’t write tomorrow’s show.'”

“You’ve still got to do the work.”

Later in his radio career, Matt had stints at Triple MKIIS and Nova before he founded Aussie Dollar Drop to help Australia’s homeless population – sending him in a new direction. 

Now the Chief Communications Officer of Foodbank, Matt says he has seen Australia’s cost of living crisis take a devastating toll on Australian families. 

“We thought COVID was a high watermark, but this cost of living crisis has just blown things out of the water, we’re feeding 57,000 people a day,” he said. 

“Basically everything you see in the news is true and then double it.”

“Literally every interest rate rise, we see numbers increase. We support 550 charities, we’re like the fridge and pantry for them, and they can tell us the next week, yep, add 30 more families in this week.” 

“These are people who are working, they’re just trying to keep their house, and keep the lights on. And then after they’ve done that, there’s no money left for food.”

Matt says presenting on AM radio provides the opportunity to cover stories like the cost of living crisis in more depth, whereas FM is more focused on music. 

“I loved my time in FM, but it’s nice to be talking about things with a bit more substance, not that we didn’t . . . but it is nice to sort of think about stuff with more depth.”

Hear Matt Tilley on ABC Radio Melbourne Breakfast this week between 5:30am – 8am.

You can find more information about Foodbank and donate here.

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Justine Stevensen
20 Sep 2023 - 8:46 am

I recognised Matt’s voice straight away when I tuned in to ABC Melbourne this morning! I listened to him in my late 20s and 30s driving to work and now I’m listening to him in my early 50s as I walk my dogs. Lovely to hear Matt again.

20 Sep 2023 - 10:34 am

Matt sounds better than anything Ive heard on ABC radio since Red Symonds. apart from
Virginia who is always a must listen. Nice to hear Matt Tilley if he was on more, I would listen more at breakfast time.

Mick C
21 Sep 2023 - 6:42 am

Is this the same Matt Tilly who was on MMM and did the ” Gotch ya calls”?


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