MATT + SARAH BROWN

Matt Brown, is a New Zealand born Samoan and an author, communicator, an internationally acclaimed barber and hair artist; known for ‘giving great cuts’ and ‘inspiring great men.’

He is a survivor of family violence and childhood sexual abuse and shares his story with the men who frequent his busy Christchurch barbershop, My Fathers Barbers, as a way to foster vulnerability, healing, and connection. He has facilitated multiple barbering programs inside Christchurch Men’s Prison, Te Puna Wai O Tuhinapo, a Christchurch youth justice facility and was named a Corrections NZ patron in 2020.

Matt has cut everyone from All Blacks to the Wu Tang Clan but his true calling; he believes lies in his work to redefine societies view of masculinity and to help end the cycle of domestic violence affecting whānau all over New Zealand; hosting free men’s anti violence support groups from locations like his barbershop, construction sites, prisons and on marae. 

Since 2018, Matt and Sarah have partnered with the Ministry of Social Development as ambassadors for their ‘It’s not OK Campaign’ and are currently funded to develop an app to promote healing for indigenous men. The couple are proud ambassadors for the work of Aviva Families, a family violence service centre in Christchurch and for a domestic violence research department in Griffith University in Australia. 

Together they co-founded She Is Not Your Rehab and launched the concept in Matt’s 2019 TEDx talk. He says the movement is an invitation for men to acknowledge their own childhood trauma and to take responsibility for their healing so that they can transform their pain instead of transmitting it on those around them.

A New Zealand Māori (Ngāpuhi/Te Rarawa) wāhine, Sarah is a writer and producer who is passionate about the mandate of ‘creating violence free communities’ and has worked alongside Matt since his brands began. She co-founded Sister Sister, a digital marketing agency with her sister Ngaroma and works with clients across Aotearoa to tell stories with creativity and purpose. Sarah is also in her final year of study and placement to become a registered therapist. 

The couple released their first book; a NZ #1 Bestseller She Is Not Your Rehab with the goal to encourage intergenerational healing in 2021, raising 100k and donating 9350 copies of the book to all NZ prisons to every person incarcerated and launched a book club program inside prison. Both Sarah and Matt became members of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2022 and were awarded a Commonwealth Points of Light award by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth.

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