Mathew Farrell: Filmmaker, 42, dies ‘too young’ in Victorian High Country plane crash

Plane crash tragedy as talented Australian filmmaker, 42, dies ‘too young’ in remote wilderness – leaving his fiancée in mourning as Home and Away star leads a chorus of tributes: ‘Horrible shock’

  • Mathew Farrell died when the plane he was piloting crashed into remote bush
  • The Tasmanian was hailed as an adventure-loving thrill-seeker by co-workers 
  • He had worked for ABC, BBC, and Discovery Channel  and filmed worldwide
  • He had only recently bought the plane after getting his pilot’s licence last year 

A leading Australian filmmaker has died after the light plane he was piloting crashed in remote wilderness in Victoria’s high country. 

Mathew Farrell’s friends and co-workers – including Home and Away star Bonnie Sveen – have hailed the Tasmanian’s passion which took him from the deserts of Morocco to the polar tundra of the Antarctic.

The TV veteran who had worked for ABC, BBC and Discovery channel had been living with fiancee Kaz in Tawong, in Victoria’s north-east. 

Mr Farrell flew out of local Mount Beauty airport at midday on Sunday, heading for NSW. But when he failed to turned up at his destination, the alarm was raised and a search began. 

Rescuers found the remains of the plane and Mr Farrell’s body in dense bushland near Lucyvale around 10am on Monday.

He had only recently bought the plane after obtaining his pilot’s licence last year.

Thrill-seeking film-maker Mathew Farrell has died after the light plane he was piloting crashed into remote wilderness in the Victorian High Country

Thrill-seeking film-maker Mathew Farrell has died after the light plane he was piloting crashed into remote wilderness in the Victorian High Country

‘Tassie lost a kind, big-hearted person and filmmaker this week,’ Ms Sveen, 32, – who played Ricky Sharp on the TV soap – posted on Instagram. 

‘Mat Farrell was a photographer, editor and man-of-many-hats – and pretty entrenched in the creative and media communities here. 

‘I worked closely with him on the short film we made nearly two years ago, Life Lives On – an idea I had that simply wouldn’t have come to life without Mat’s generous time, input and passion. 

‘He was the [Director of Photography] and Editor. I thought (and hoped!) it was the first of many projects we’d get to work together on.’

Adventure-junkie Mathew Farrell's friends and co-workers - including Home and Away star Bonnie Sveen - have hailed the Tasmanian's passion which took him from the deserts of Morocco to the polar tundra of the Antarctic

Adventure-junkie Mathew Farrell’s friends and co-workers – including Home and Away star Bonnie Sveen – have hailed the Tasmanian’s passion which took him from the deserts of Morocco to the polar tundra of the Antarctic

Bonnie Sveen, 32, - who played Ricky Sharp on Home and Away - posted a moving tribute to her friend on Instagram

Bonnie Sveen, 32, – who played Ricky Sharp on Home and Away – posted a moving tribute to her friend on Instagram

She added: ‘Sending love and strength to Mat’s fiancée and family and grieving friends. 

‘What a horrible shock to lose him so young. Rest easy Mat… and thank you for all you shared with the world. ‘

The former Hobart Mercury photographer was remembered by newspaper staff for his adventurous spirit which ’embraced life’ – and whose skills also included being a paraglider, polar explorer, mountaineering guide and zodiac boat driver.

‘Professionally he was an inspiration to work with, he was committed and passionate and dedicated to innovation,’ said former Mercury Head of Vision Daniel Jupe.

The former Hobart Mercury photographer was remembered by newspaper staff for his adventurous spirit which 'embraced life' - and whose skills also included being a paraglider, polar explorer, mountaineering guide and zodiac boat driver

The former Hobart Mercury photographer was remembered by newspaper staff for his adventurous spirit which ’embraced life’ – and whose skills also included being a paraglider, polar explorer, mountaineering guide and zodiac boat driver

‘He worked across so many areas and in each not only excelled but created an environment which was a pleasure to work in for his colleagues.

‘Mat was one of the most kind and generous people I have ever known.

‘He embraced life. He was adventurous yet thoughtful, he was passionate, calm, he was endlessly excitable yet completely giving.

‘He will be missed by so many people in Tasmania, interstate and overseas as he touched people in a way that not many can, and connected with people in a way we all wish we could.’

The Australian Cinematographers Society in Tasmania spoke of their shock at Mathew Farrell's sudden death

The Australian Cinematographers Society in Tasmania spoke of their shock at Mathew Farrell’s sudden death

The Australian Cinematographers Society in Tasmania spoke of their shock at his sudden death.

‘On behalf of all ACS Tasmania members, we are shocked and deeply saddened at the tragic passing of Mathew Farrell,’ the group said in a social media post.

‘We pass on our deepest condolences to Mat’s family, his fiancé Kaz, his friends and colleagues.

‘Mat will be very fondly remembered by many in his adopted state of Tasmania, especially in the film-making and media industries, where he was greatly respected.’

 A friend also paid tribute on Mr Farrell’s Facebook page.

‘Mathew, your passion for adventure was never far away from everything you did,’ posted his mate Monty BB.

‘Whether it was filming, hang-gliding, rock-climbing or out in the wilderness, you made it your own experience and we all came along for the ride!

‘We met many years ago through a mutual love of cycling. Thank you for all the joy you brought to everyone’s lives. You will be missed by so many.

‘My sincerest and heartfelt condolences to your family and those close to you.’

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