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Rebecca Kuenstner

ADF Service: I joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 2008 and discharged in 2014. During my career I was an Electronic Warfare sailor. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.

Age: 30

Hometown: I grew up in the Philippines and emigrated to Australia in 1994.

Current town: Narangba, Queensland

Competing in: Sitting volleyball

Rebecca Kuenstner

What is the Nature of your injury or illness?

Physical and mental health injuries.

What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?

I was always a sportsperson (volleyball) before I joined the Navy. Sport helped me to better manage my health conditions. It got me out from my institutional environment and helped me to hang out with people outside Defence. That got me reconnected with my community.

When people at my gym see me getting over my injuries, they ask me how sport helps and I tell them my story. It has given me wider social networks.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Since discharge, it’s been getting back to work and finishing courses. I never thought I could study again. I didn’t know I was capable of some things because, when I was sick, I was given restrictions about what was possible for me. But I’ve been able to go outside them in a positive way.

I really thought, at this early stage, it wasn’t possible for me to work. I persevered and now I am confident and know I can work.

Why did you apply for the Invictus Games 2018?

The Invictus Games is a self healing, self development journey to achieve my goals. I need to work towards my goals.

What will “winning” look like for you at these Games?

Just representing Australia is an accomplishment for me. Winning for me is belonging and being part of a team. Winning is training hard and playing hard with my buddies.

The person I most admire is…

My local RSL (Returned and Services League of Australia) advocate and welfare officer from Redcliffe RSL. She helped me to get outside my boundaries and get into my community. She ended up being my friend. I helped her with cycling and she helped me with volleyball.