Matt's $100k gift to burns victims

Celebrity Sunshine Coast chef Matt Golinski has spoken for the first time since the Boxing Day fire which claimed the lives of his family.
Celebrity Sunshine Coast chef Matt Golinski has spoken for the first time since the Boxing Day fire which claimed the lives of his family. Barry Alsop

IN an incredible act of generosity, Sunshine Coast celebrity chef Matt Golinski will share $100,000 of the money given to him for his recovery to help other burns survivors.

Mr Golinski will gift some of the funds raised via the Matt Golinski Recovery Fund and Plates for Mates efforts to the Royal Women and Brisbane Hospital Foundation, the Fiona Wood Foundation and the Peter Hughes Burn Foundation.

"During my time in hospital and rehabilitation, I've met many other burns survivors,'' Mr Golinski, speaking publicly for the first time, said.

"I am acutely aware that most of them have not been blessed with the kind of support I've been lucky enough to receive.''

"There is so much work that needs to be done in the areas of burns prevention, treatment and research.

"Helping others, is just one way I hope to honour the memory of my wife, Rachael and our three girls, Willow, Sage and Starlia."

Mr Golinski, who is now living with his father Keith after losing the family home, said that while his physical recovery was on track, his emotional recovery was proving to be a little more challenging.

"I do have my dark days and would obviously do anything to change my life back to what it was before December last year.

"I appreciate the privacy that has been extended to me whilst I process my grief.

"It's hard to express my appreciation for the amount of well wishes, love and support that has been extended to me and my family.

"All I can think of to say to the Sunshine Coast is, thank you."

It's almost eight months since the fire.

The celebrity chef received third degree burns to over 40% of his body as a result of the blaze and spent months in the Royal Women and Brisbane Hospital's Burns Unit fighting for his life in a medically induced coma.

Mr Golinski said he wanted to thank the Sunshine Coast community in particular for its support during the long road to his recovery.

"I'm aware of many of the extraordinary acts of kindness on my behalf which have touched my heart and really helped give me the will to carry on.

"I was told about a little boy baking cupcakes over Easter and selling them to his neighbours to raise some money, and the school my daughters attended, Noosaville State School not only raised money but also put together an album of photos, which is just so precious to me.

"So many of the local restaurants and cafés, from the hinterland to the coast have contributed, as have numerous other schools and community groups.

"Although I am still processing all that has happened over these past few months, I am becoming more and more aware of the incredible level of emotional and financial support that friends, family and complete strangers have extended to me and my family, particularly within the hospitality industry.

"The loss of my wife and three daughters is still incomprehensible, but I am grateful to be alive. I am now trying to look to the future and live a life that would make them proud."

Rachael Golinski with her daughters Starlia, Willow and Sage.
Rachael Golinski with her daughters Starlia, Willow and Sage. Contributed

Now living with his father Keith after the family home was destroyed by the fire, the gutsy chef's daily routine involves many hours of rehabilitation.

It includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, psychology and hydrotherapy appointments.

Away from the walls of the doctor's offices, Matt is helping to rebuild his physical strength with short distance jogging and light weight training.

"Recovering from burns injuries is a slow process and can take several years. There are the external injuries of course, but also internal injuries caused by the effects of flame and smoke inhalation.

"Then there is the emotional side of things to deal with.

"As a result of the accident I have a condition called heterotopic ossification (HO) which is the presence of bone in soft tissue where bone normally does not exist.

"This calcification causes my elbows to 'seize up', giving me limited mobility in my arms but I am hoping in 12 months or so that it may be possible to have an operation to remove the excess bone growth.

"I have some nerve damage in my fingers also but I'm working on improving that too.

"Thanks to the efforts of my rehab team I have a practical range of movement so am at least able to be independent and can now complete everyday tasks such as driving and home duties."

His partners in his Rolling Dolmade catering business have kept the business running successfully during his absence.

But the celebrity chef is not sure if, or when he will be able to return to work.

"I'm certainly keen to get back into the kitchen and return to a more 'normal' routine but I am trying not to look too far ahead and just take life one day at a time," he said.

Donations for the official Matt (Matthew) Golinski Recovery Fund Trust can be made over the counter at any ANZ Bank or by direct deposit to:  Account name: Matthew Golinski Recovery Fund Trust.  Bank: ANZ.  BSB: 014 672 Account number: 263 331 805 or via the Plates for Mates website -

Topics:  celebrity chef charity fire matt golinski plates for mates

Traffic delays on the New England Highway

The speed has been reduced to 40km/h.

Expect delays if you are heading south.

Southern Downs dam project edges closer

LONG-TERM PLANNING: Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash met with then candidate for Maranoa David Littleproud and Councillor Vic Pennisi at the Emu Swamp Dam site in June.

Funding has been secured for a feasability study for Stanthorpe

Keeping the services all within the family

FRONT LINE FAMILY: Winona Welsh, with dad Darren Welsh.

LIKE father, like daughter.

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

Events you need to be at this week...

Some Australian sevens rugby squad members will be in Warwick this weekend.

It won't be all rodeo in Warwick this weekend

He's here for the Melbourne Cup of campdrafting

David Thorn from Cootamundra on Oh How Foxy.

David Thorn is here to make the most of the Warwick Rodeo.

PICS: Campdraft action gets underway at rodeo

Some of the action from the campdraft first round at the Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft this morning.

Check out the pics galore from the morning's action at the campdraft

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals