In 2018, Matthew “Matty” Brumby co-captained the Australian team at the Invictus Games held in Sydney. Four years since leading the Aussies, Matty is still a massive supporter of Invictus Australia’s essential work. The Navy veteran shared his lived experience of trials, tribulations and triumphs with Defence Connect journalist Nastasha Tupas.
Originally from Devonport, Tasmania, Matty joined the Navy in 1994 right after finishing high school and spent some time on board HMAS Newcastle and HMAS Brisbane as a steward. While undertaking selection to be a Navy clearance diver, he collapsed on the beach in 2000, and he was then diagnosed with a syrinx, a fluid-filled cavity in his spinal cord that had paralysed him from just below the chest down.
After suffering the life-changing injury that cut his Navy career short, Matty has had a great run as a sportsman. He is an Invictus Games gold medallist and added these wins under his belt – Ironman World Champion and Half Ironman World Champion. As a motivational speaker, he advocates for the benefits sports provides for the mind, body and spirit.
Connecting with like-minded people and building a support network has been a big part of Matty’s rehabilitation. His strong support network includes Willow, a six-year-old chocolate Labrador whom he met at the Invictus Games in 2018 through Integra. Willow assists him in competing at events around the world.
Enjoy the podcast,
The Defence Connect Team
Listen to previous episodes of the Defence Connect podcast:
Episode 323: PODCAST: Cyber security, a legal requirement? With Clyde & Co’s Reece Corbett-Wilkins and Avryl Lattin
Episode 322: PODCAST: 45 Days – The Fight For A Nation, with Emile Ghessen
Episode 321: PODCAST: News wrap – Chapter closed: Subs program turns new page
Episode 320: SPOTLIGHT: Revolutionising the space domain, with Lockheed Martin Australia and Inovor Technologies
Episode 319: PODCAST: Supporting defence businesses, with DSTG’s Nigel McGinty and Robert Hunjet
Episode 318: PODCAST: Digitising the ADF for better and safer training, with Shane Acorn and Daniel Pace
Episode 317: PODCAST: An uncertain world, with MAJGEN (Ret’d) Mick Ryan
Episode 316: PODCAST: The worsening geostrategic environment
Episode 315: PODCAST: News wrap – Strengthening maritime capability
Episode 314: SPOTLIGHT: Unpacking the Aegis combat weapons system, with Lockheed Martin Australia’s Neale Prescott and Rob Milligan