skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

Jacob Matysek – Cairns

When studying Law and Information Technology at James Cook University of Cairns, Jacob Matysek received a phone call inviting him to join the Army Reserves.

The dual Australian / New Zealand citizen grasped the opportunity and enlisted as an infantry soldier into the Army's 11th Brigade in 2006.

Twelve years on, he was given the opportunity to deploy to South East Queensland to assist security arrangements for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games as part of an all-corps search company.

"I deployed as a Vehicle Search Area Team Commander and was responsible for overseeing a section of Reservists who conducted vehicle searches with the Queensland Police Service," Lance Corporal Matysek said.

Lance Corporal Matysek said his team often interacted with crowd-goers and contractors passing through vehicle search areas, venue security staff and Game officials.

"In providing security for the Games you get to work with a lot of different people within your section and on the job," he said.

While searching vehicles can be repetitive, Lance Corporal Matysek kept interested by focusing on the job and engaging with those around him.

"It was great to be working so closely with the police and to support the Australian people in our own country."

"All my experiences with the public were positive and I saw that the people were generally happy to have the Army in Brisbane supporting Games security.

"When people passed by, I would say hello and ask who's winning. I was lucky to be on shift during the Australia vs New Zealand women's Hockey match."

This diverse work environment is what Lance Corporal Matysek enjoys most about his career in the Reserves.

"When you get to work with so many different groups of people, you build your people-skills because it exposes you to different behaviours and teaches you how to adapt."

As a junior soldier, those skills were tested when he was thrown in the deep end by deploying to East Timor on a 12 month full-time contract in 2011.

"I deployed to Timor with the 8th Brigade - with soldiers I hadn't met before. It was challenging but a great opportunity," he said.

When Lance Corporal Matysek is not doing Reserve work, he works for Victims Legal Service Queensland in Cairns, sits on the ABC advisory committee and is completing post graduate legal studies.

On Tuesday nights, he parades in Cairns with the 31st /42nd Battalion, the Royal Queensland Regiment and instructs newly enlisted officer cadets and soldiers posted to the Queensland University Regiment.

When the Commonwealth Games wrap up, Lance Corporal Matysek said he will return to Cairns and pass on his experience at the Games to others at his unit.

"Being here builds on our skills, which we can take back to our units so that training and lessons learnt can filter down to other members," he said.

"Allowing reservists to engage in these types of activities develops our soldiers and enhances Army Reserve capability."

More than 1700 Australian Defence Force personnel supported Queensland Police Service security arrangements for the Games, which came to a close on April 15.

Additional ADF support included Army engineers and Multi Role Helicopter (MRH90) "Taipan" aircraft, Navy clearance divers, RAAF F/A-18 Hornets and a ceremonial contingent.