ADF Service: I joined the Australian Army in 2012 and discharged in 2016 with the rank of Private. My unit was Joint Movement Coordination Centre (JMCC) based in Brisbane. I was fortunate enough to be sent on two operations: Operation Queensland Flood Assist and Operation Philippines Assist. Operation Philippines Assist was my career highlight by far. Being in a high-pressure environment brought out the best of my character and training. The Philippines had been hit by a cyclone which I found to be a massive eye opener. This operation taught me how resilient people can be.
Home town: Melbourne, Victoria
Current town: Melbourne, Victoria
Competing in: Wheelchair basketball, cycling, indoor rowing and wheelchair rugby
What is the nature of your injury or illness?
I am a T4 paraplegic complete. In October 2016 I walked into surgery and came out the other side with spinal cord damage from the chest down. I don’t have any voluntary movement, no sensory feeling and I suffer with severe chronic neuropathic pain on daily basis.
What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?
I had always been into sport pre-paraplegia playing soccer at a very high level in Australia. In the early days of my recovery I was struggling with lifestyle choices and went into some dark places which I never want to see again. My mentor Marcus, who I was introduced to while in spinal rehab, played a crucial part in my change of lifestyle. He gave me some tough love in a time when I really needed to be pointed in the right direction. That direction led me to try out for the Victorian Wheelchair Football League. I was drafted to the St Kilda Football Club and with this opportunity my life took the most positive step. I’ve also been a part of four Spartan Races, MS Half Marathon and various other sporting events. From these moments onwards I’ve put sport and health first. It’s become my addiction and since then, I have been able to live the happiest life ever. Sport really saved my life.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Making the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 team is definitely my greatest achievement and away from sport I’ve been mentoring the newly injured patients with spinal cord injuries at two hospitals in Melbourne.
Why did you apply for the Invictus Games?
Since the Games began I kept saying I was going to make the team one day. However, they were loose comments as mentally I was not ready. Roughly one year later I was in the window of opportunity and applied for the team. While waiting to see if I would get a call up I trained non-stop and that improved my physical and mental health. I had a goal which kept me focused on a positive path.
What will “winning” look like for you at these games?
Winning for me is everyone getting involved and breaking their own barriers. I love seeing people do amazing things and everyone at these Games will be doing just that.
The person I most admire is...
I admire everyone - all of us.