About

Affirmative Recruitment is a boutique recruitment agency committed to offering ethical, personalised and high-quality services to our clients and candidates.

We’ve founded our agency on a set of beliefs and values to develop a clear social purpose: To use our experience, knowledge and networks to make a meaningful difference in the world of work, advancing society towards an inclusive future, one hire at a time.

Central to our approach is our decision to specialise in disability-positive hiring, working exclusively with candidates who live with disability or chronic illness, or who are neurodivergent. We believe that by doing so, in partnership with progressive employers, we can help to address the under-representation of this population in most recruitment shortlists and ultimately in the Australian workforce.

It’s also our belief that positive change is both achievable and within the reach of most employers today. With this optimism as the foundation of our approach, we are committed to assisting employers to convert their inclusive goals and intentions into real outcomes. 

Photo of Matt Gowan seated at a counter. He has caucasian appearance, grey hair, blue glasses and is wearing a black jacket over a white tee shirt

Matt Gowan

Matt Gowan has worked as a leader and innovator in the recruitment industry since 1999. During his career he has consistently championed diversity, challenged the employment status quo and sought to constructively influence positive change.

Matt’s earlier years in the industry were regularly marked by success in placing candidates with overseas experience, and this became his gateway to a broader exploration of equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) in the recruitment process. ED&I subsequently featured as a key element across his hiring practices as a people leader, client interactions as a strategic account director and involvement at regional management board.

In 2016 Matt co-founded the Australia New Zealand Diversity Committee with other like-minded leaders at his former recruitment agency. The committee developed ED&I strategy and direction for the company both internally as an employer of 1500 staff and externally in relation to jobseekers and client partners. Matt chaired the committee from 2019 to 2023, effectively influencing, sponsoring and/or progressing to varying degrees a raft of initiatives across LGBTIA+, gender, disability, first nations and CALM inclusion. He also spent 2 years as a member of the company’s global diversity council. Matt was the architect behind the creation of an Australian guide to disability in the recruitment process, and key driver / board sponsor of the long-term project to build comprehensive disability confidence across the company.

This ongoing dedication to creating a more inclusive workforce has been the driving force behind Matt forming Affirmative Recruitment as a dedicated disability specialist and our broader mission for social change.

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