From fighting fires to representing Australia: Forestry Corp staff in Invictus Games

Taree Forestry Corporation employee Matt Model will soon be swapping his firefighting kit for an Australian uniform in the 2018 Invictus Games.

The Invictus Games is an international sporting event initiated by Prince Harry to support the recovery of wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans.

Mr Model will compete in indoor rowing and athletics.

“I’m excited and proud to represent my country—it’s not something that everyone gets a chance to do,” Mr Model said.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to Sydney and joining the squad again. I’ll have my wife and twin 11 year-old boys there supporting me and I’m proud to be a role model for my family.”

Mr Model is employed as a Forest Technician with Forestry Corporation of NSW – working to help manage timber supply from the State’s native forests as well as ensuring the forests remain healthy.

The current fire season has made the training program a challenge, but not impossible, said Mr Model.

“It’s been hard to fit the training in, particularly with a recent week of firefighting in Grafton, but somehow I’ve managed to find the time and energy. Otherwise my work in Forestry Corp complements my training. I like being on my feet and the active work helps me with recovery.”

Mr Model joined Forestry Corporation after active service with the Australian Army. He was injured from a significant fall during operations to catch former Timorese rebel leader Alfredo Reinado.

“During my transition into Forestry Corporation I was made feel very welcome and it has been nothing but a supportive environment.

“My journey to the Invictus Games has been easier thanks to the great support from my family, community and forestry colleagues.”

Mr Model will join 72 other athletes in the Australian Invictus Games Squad in October.

Media contact: Rod Campbell 0428058549