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Matthew creates music for a cause

Matthew creates music for a cause

Matthew creates music for a cause

29 April 2016

Matthew Bradshaw, founder of the Rockdale Band Three Hands, with lead vocalist Renata Davies. Photo Credit: Shairon Paterson

By Esther Pinn

When Matthew Bradshaw took his first trip overseas to the Philippines in his early 20s, he was shocked by the poverty he saw. But he also saw something which surprised him – joy.

“I was touched by the people there because they were so poor but so generous. They were so happy,” he says.

Almost 10 years later and after futher overseas trips – to Thailand and China – Matthew’s heart burned with a passion for those living in disadvantaged circumstances. He wanted to help – and so he did.

In 2014, Matthew formed a band, Three Hands, out of Rockdale Corps and produced an album called Asylum + Refuge to raise awareness and funds for The Salvation Army’s International Development Office (SAID).

The album, which was released at the end of 2014, sold well within The Salvation Army. While raising funds is important, the main purpose is to prompt people to make a difference. Matthew wrote all the songs, which were inspired by his experiences overseas. His songs motivate people to think beyond their situation to help the less fortunate.

Matthew says one of the songs, A Town Called Young, is an invitation to find a child-like belief, to step out of a negative state of mind and ultimately realise that we can make a difference.

“We have a false sense over here [in Australia]. I believe everybody would help if they understood that these people are people – they are not just a number or a statistic. That’s the message I want to get to people – these are families, children, mothers, wives, people’s grandparents and they need help.”

Seeking God

When looking for a way to help, Matthew asked himself: “What can I offer?”

Matthew has been writing worship music and songs about his walk with God since he was 15. He says it seemed natural to use his musical gifts to bless those living in poverty.

“Songwriting has been a massive part of my life. For me, it’s a form of prayer and a form of worship.”

Knowing how music has impacted his life, Matthew believed music to be a way to speak to people’s hearts about the issue of poverty.

“Music ... it can go straight through to the soul without having to get caught up in thought or debate.”

Matthew has been part of Rockdale Corps for about two years. After his last trip overseas, Matthew says he came back knowing he needed to seek God. He began to search for a church that lined up with his Christian values and his passion for philanthropy. He ended up at the Salvos.

“I saw a great need and there’s only so much you can do on your own. That’s when I started doing research into charities ... and The Salvation Army stood out.”

Matthew introduced the idea of a CD while sharing his testimony with the Rockdale Corps congregation. He immediately received offers of support and prayer from corps members.

After the success of the album within the Army, together with his band, Renata Davies (vocals), Glen Lockwood (vocals and bass), Michael Bishop (Piano), Thomas Cox (drums) and Sarah Bishop (album graphic designer), Matthew (vocals and guitar) hopes to create further awareness by taking the CD to the wider Australian community.

“This is the foundation of the beginning. I definitely want to do more,” he says.

Asylum + Refuge is available for $13 (including postage within Australia) or songs can be downloaded for 99 cents each. Alternatively, tax deductible donations can be made to the project. Go to



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