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News > Alumni Stories > The Matt Laffan Scholarship

The Matt Laffan Scholarship

In memory of Matt Laffan, SJC 1989-93

Matt Laffan (1970-2009) was a disability activist, lawyer with the NSW DPP, member of the NSW Rugby Union judiciary and one-time Sydney Lord Mayor aspirant. Matt also attended St John’s College in the University of Sydney, was elected as House President in the early ‘90s and was later President of its alumni organisation, The Johnsmen’s Association.

Matt passed away in 2009 at age 38. He battled diastrophic dysplasia all his life yet did not allow it to constrain him from living his life to the fullest.

The Laffan Scholarship is available for a student with a long-term physical disability, who will be studying at the University of Sydney and residing at St John’s College.

Each year the St John’s College Alumni Association hold Laffo’s Long Lunch, in honour of Matt Laffan and funds raised go towards supporting this scholarship as well as a general all-round scholarship.

Laffo’s Long Lunch 2022

Now in its 14th year, Laffo’s Long Lunch is a friendly and fun lunch in the spirit of Matt Laffan and is a celebration of the great person he was. There will be live music, interesting discussion, poetry, sport and much more. In addition to a great afternoon out with friends, this lunch raises money for the Laffan Scholarships. These scholarships either assist university students with a physical disability to reside at St John’s College or provide partial scholarships to enable students with all-round academic and sporting ability to attend the College (with a preference for rural and regional students). We are also proud to partner with Hearts in Rugby Union who assist people who have suffered a severe spinal or other permanent life altering injury through a freak accident while playing rugby union.

This year’s lunch will feature 1991 Wallabies Rugby World Cup winning captain Nick Farr-Jones AM, comedian Vince Sorrenti, former Wallabies and current England coach Eddie Jones and other guests to be announced. A good afternoon is guaranteed for all!

As Matt’s parents, Dick and Jenny have been heavily involved with the Rugby Union fraternity, there has always been a rugby theme to the lunches, organised around international tours. Previous guests have included Dave Faulkner from Hoodoo Gurus, Cold Chisel song writer, Don Walker, current Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Olympian Marlene Matthews and Wallabies legends, Phil Kearns, Justin Harrison, Rod Kafer and Andrew Slack to name a few.

To buy tickets to Laffo's Long Lunch please click here.

For more information about donating to scholarships at St John’s and to view a video featuring Jenny Laffan please click here.

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