ADF Service: I joined the Australian Army Reserve in 1985 and transferred to the Australian Regular Army in 1986. I was medically discharged in 1999. My Service included: Infantry Rifleman 9th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment (9RQR); Armoured Fighting Vehicle Crewman 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Reconnaissance); Aircrew (S-70A-9 Black Hawk) 5th Aviation Regiment, School of Army Aviation.
Hometown: Sydney, New South Wales
Current town: Toowoomba, Queensland
Competing in: Archery
What is the Nature of your injury or illness?
Following an Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) accident, I sustained head trauma and a shoulder injury, Meniere's Disease (vertigo, nausea, hearing loss, cognitive impairment) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?
After medical discharge, I did about three years of rehabilitation. In 2008, I started archery as an extension to my rehab program for physical and mental training, in order to improve mental focus, balance and coordination. Along with diet and nutrition, target archery now plays a central role in my physical and mental rehabilitation program.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
In late 2017, I qualified as a Level 1 Archery Instructor with Archery Australia, so that I could share the benefits of target archery with fellow veterans from the Mates 4 Mates organisation in Toowoomba and on the Darling Downs. I now host a small but growing number of veterans who shoot regularly at the Toowoomba Archery Club. It gives me great satisfaction to see other veterans, who may have withdrawn from society, to suddenly come alive again when shooting arrows at the range with fellow veterans.
Why did you apply for the Invictus Games 2018?
I want to challenge myself physically and mentally, to take myself out of my comfort zone where I had been hiding since discharge. I want to help other veterans and integrate more with society. I believe the Invictus Games will help me gain the confidence to do this.
What will “winning” look like for you at these Games?
Representing my country, participating with my team, and just doing my best for my country and myself. I already feel like I am achieving this.
The person I most admire is…
Wendy-Leigh, my wife and my Carer. When I became very sick, she could easily have walked away to a new life but she stayed with me. She married me, gave up her promising career as a medical research scientist and has cared for me through extremely difficult times. She coaches me through life’s difficulties, stands up for me when others fail to understand and cleans up the mess I leave behind when I do things my way, all the while overcoming her cancer. She loves me for who I am.