Hachette Australia is to set up a scholarship or foundation to support local writers in honor of its former CEO, Matt Richell, deceased recently in a surfing accident. Hachette group CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson was quoted in Australia’s Books and Publishing magazine as saying: “‘We plan to work with [Richell’s wife] Hannah to establish a scholarship or foundation to honour Matt’s memory for decades into the future.”
Richell’s wife, writer Hannah Richell, spoke on his legacy at a memorial ceremony in Sydney, attended by some 200 literary and publishing figures, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald. Author Maxine Beneba Clarke also paid tribute to “Matt, running marathons to help fund writing programs; English Matt, championing Australian writers within an international publishing house; Matt, surrounded by his publishing colleagues, always contagiously calm and wearing respect on his sleeve.”
Hachette Australia’s official statement said:
Matt was such an outstanding person in so many ways. He was only just hitting his stride as our CEO and his passion, drive and vision for Hachette was so infectious and exciting to be around. He encouraged all of us here to be creative, thoughtful and ambitious on behalf of our authors. There was no greater supporter of authors and their work than Matt. He was so pleased with and proud of everything that Hachette Australia and Hachette New Zealand are accomplishing and all of us here liked and respected him enormously. He was a friend and a mentor to everyone.