Mates4Mates Magazine Edition 2, 2016
I S S U E 02, 2016
A belated Happy Easter to all!
Where is this year going… and where have the
last three years gone? Mates4Mates recently
We have certainly hit the ground running for
2016. The three Family Recovery Centres are very
busy, with over 250 people per week visiting the
Brisbane Centre, 200 per week in Townsville and
100 per week in Hobart. These Mates receive a
mix of psychological support, social engagement,
employment and education service support along
with physical rehabilitation and fitness training.
The Equine Therapy Program supports our
psychological services and this year we are
expanding to conduct one course per month in
varying locations around Australia. The physical
rehabilitation team have also been expanding to
conduct a 12-week Fit4Life challenge, which is
returning some great results among our Mates.
This program is more than just a mechanism to
work off the over-indulgent Christmas cheer – it
aims to help Mates commit to healthy eating,
regular exercise and making general healthy
The rehabilitative adventure challenges
start in April, with our first group for the year
trekking Kokoda. April will also see us kick off
a new activity; a horse trek through the Snowy
Mountains. I can’t wait for the feedback on this
one; it has certainly proven very popular in the
Expression of Interest process.
I am very proud of my team (staff and
volunteers) at Mates4Mates. I am also very
proud of the Mates themselves; it is significantly
rewarding to watch people on their journey
with Mates4Mates, regardless of whether their
needs are complex or if they simply need the
social interaction of attending the odd Monday
night barbecue. We offer a range of services in a
holistic, coordinated manner, which means we can
help no matter how much or how little you might
need from us.
Simon Sauer AM, CSC
Chief Executive Officer, Mates4Mates M4M
MATES4MATES recently celebrated the third
anniversary of the first Family Recovery Centre opening
by General Peter Cosgrove and Victoria Cross recipient
Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith on March 14, 2013.
Mates4Mates CEO Simon Sauer said it was a great
opportunity to reflect on how far the organisation
has come in these few years, and all the great
accomplishments we’ve achieved along the way.
“We’re always striving to improve, but it’s
also important to look back and see what
Mates4Mates has achieved in three short years,”
Simon said. “We’ve taken on rehabilitative
challenges like the Kokoda Trek and Sydney
Hobart Yacht race, and kayaked across the Bass
Strait, all in the name of recovery.
“We’ve seen an increasing number of injured
Mates and their families ask for support for
everything from counselling to physical fitness
programs and career advice. We’ve also been
able to expand our programs nationally to reach
as many Mates and families as possible.
“Every day we are learning and growing, and it’s
thanks to our wonderful team and generous supporters
that we are able to continue providing help to our
injured Defence Force Mates and their families.”
To find out more about Mates4Mates and its birthday
activities, like the official Mates4Mates Facebook page
at facebook.com/mates4mates. M4M
to look back
and see what
in three short
Holistic health makes
ACUPUNCTURE and cupping
are now offered as part of the
physical health and wellbeing
services at the Mates4Mates
Brisbane Centre. These
natural therapies are
being used to compliment
traditional therapies to
support our injured Mates.
Annette Lane attends the
centre once a week and
said acupuncture is
an ancient form of
Chinese medicine in
which fine needles are
inserted in specific
points on the body
to manipulate the
flow of energy, or Qi
“Acupuncture restores balance in the body
and is highly effective in treating an array of
conditions ranging from stress related symptoms
to musculoskeletal problems,” Annette said. “Its
success in pain management is well documented
and it was for this reason it was initially
introduced to the West.”
Along with acupuncture Annette also offers
cupping therapy, which stimulates acupuncture
points by applying suction through a jar or cup.
“As a complimentary method to deep tissue massage,
cupping can be used to treat very tight muscles by
enhancing the body’s ability to drain toxins,
stimulate the nerves and allow fresh blood flow,”
“Cupping therapy works by lifting the body’s
connective tissue, loosening adhesions and restoring
blood flow to areas of the body that have been
restricted. It is an excellent treatment for stress, fatigue,
aches and pains.”
Many people who receive cupping treatments say it
feels like a deep massage they’ve had, but one that only
in the body
and is highly
takes five to 20 minutes. Both acupuncture and cupping
are not painful– while Mates will feel a mild sensation,
they won’t feel pain.
“Cupping is a very safe treatment when performed by an
experienced and qualified acupuncturist,” Annette said.
Acupuncture and cupping are currently offered in the
Brisbane Family Recovery Centre, however, all centres
offer a holistic range of services, including remedial
massage, Tai Chi in Townsville and meditative yoga
To find out more about what your local centre offers,
contact Mates4Mates on 1300 4 MATES (62837). M4M
1300 4 MATES (1300 462 837)
inspires real change
IN January 2016, Kiel Goodman and his girlfriend
Jess Lane decided to make a change. Together, they
signed up for the first Fit4Life 12-Week Challenge, a
specialised program designed to improve the health and
fitness of physically and psychologically injured Mates
and their families.
It’s the first time Mates4Mates has run this wellbeing
program, which focuses on improving the body and
mind, with specialised meal plans, physical training plans
and goal setting exercises.
Kiel, 29, said when he began the challenge his aim
was simply to improve his overall fitness, but he was
surprised to get much more out of the program than
“When I was in the military I was big into
fitness and I worked out every day – I would
hate to miss even one day’s work out and
Fit4Life has helped me get that drive back.”
“I haven’t had that feeling since I was in the
Army; I didn’t want to miss a single session,” he
said. “It’s hard to feel motivated by yourself, but
when you have a group of people doing it with
you, it seems easier.”
Kiel’s girlfriend Jess also said the program
helped achieve her goal to quit smoking and
improve her overall health.
“I’ve been a smoker for 15 years and I set a
goal at the start of the program to quit, and I’m
really excited that I’ve managed to do that.
“Fit4Life teaches you to have a more balanced
lifestyle. Before Kiel would have lived off ham
and cheese sandwiches, but now he’s more
conscious of how eating different foods make
you feel, and the healthier you’re eating the better you
feel,” Jess said.
The program provides participants with tools to help
them make a healthy lifestyle change, including fitness
assessments, a personalised exercise plan, wellness
checks and several group training sessions every week.
Kiel said the benefits of the program extended
beyond just improving their physical fitness.
but it’s not
started to just
feel better, so
ABOVE: Mates worked together in group training
sessions each week, supporting each other
through the program.
“My fitness has improved, but it’s not even about
that anymore. About halfway through the challenge I
started to just feel better, so much healthier and more
confident… One day I looked down and I swear even my
fingernails were shinier.
“I used to be bad with my mood swings, but I was
surprised to see that my PTSD symptoms have gone
down since I started the program. I sleep better, I’m less
anxious and I feel like my depression is almost gone. I
never expected that to happen.”
Jess said she noticed changes in Kiel over the 12
weeks and began to see the positive effects in herself,
too. Not only did she feel healthier, she had a newfound confidence.
“I don’t have PTSD, but I did have anxiety before I
started the program and I feel so much calmer now,
ABOVE: Jess and Kiel at one of the Brisbane Centre’s training sessions.
LEFT: Kiel said this is the first time since his military days that he has
felt the drive to train consistently.
less anxious and more confident to try new things. We
recently went freediving, but before the program we
just never would have done that, we wouldn’t have had
the confidence,” she said.
Kiel and Jess agreed the supportive environment of
Mates4Mates was one of the most helpful parts of
“The best part is really committing to
something and being a part of it with others, and
being able to support others who are doing it
with you,” Jess said. “It’s been great to see some
participants get more comfortable in a social
setting, to see them come out of their shell.
When we started some people were really shy
and quiet, but now we’ve all become friends and
we’re happier and more outgoing with each other.”
Mates4Mates Exercise Physiologist Brett Taylor said
the team developed the program with Mates in mind.
“A lot of these challenges are focussed on weight
teaches you to
have a more
loss, but for us that was a secondary goal,” Brett said.
“We wanted to help Mates lead healthier lives in a way
that works in with their daily routines.
“We’ve seen some great results. One of our
participants has lost 20cm off his waist!
“It’s been great to see the changes in people like
Kiel too, who was already fit, but we’ve really seen his
mindset change. He has become a real leader within the
group and I think Jess’s support has also had a lot to do
Kiel said the 12 weeks were filled with a lot of
“Thommo [Brisbane’s trainer] has helped me a lot. He’s
been more like a friend than a trainer – he’s changed
my life and I like coming into the centre knowing the
support is going to be there.”
Jess agreed, saying, “Kiel wouldn’t have kept coming
to Mates4Mates if it wasn’t for the support and
encouragement shown by the team. His whole outlook
has changed. We just want everyone to know that if
they give it a go, their lives can change for the
To stay updated on the next Fit4Life challenge, visit
RACE TO RECOVERY
ABOVE: The Gold Coast Suns joined the Mates4Mates team to farewell Kim Ewart.
A VIETNAM veteran has suited up for his fifth Targa
Tasmania to raise awareness for Mates4Mates.
Kim Ewart, 70, raced his one-of-a-kind, purpose-built
Datsun Scarab 280Z, with the backing of Mates4Mates,
to highlight the importance of supporting Defence
Mates who are wounded, injured or ill.
Mr Ewart, a signal operator during the Vietnam War,
has been racing cars since he was 16 and said he was
on a mission to help young veterans who find it difficult
returning to civilian life.
“I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
33 years after I got home,” Mr Ewart said.
“Back then we didn’t talk about mental health, we just
thought there was something wrong with us and tried
to block it out.
“I have two sons currently serving in the Army and
Air Force who have done tours of Iraq and Afghanistan
and I don’t want them or their mates to experience the
same difficulties we did returning from service.”
Mr Ewart’s Datsun 240Z won its class at Targa
Tasmania in 2004, 2005, 2006 and his 280Z in 2010.
He met a number of veterans during the 25th
“We need to make sure we’re connecting current and
ex-vets with Mates4Mates and other support groups so
they can benefit from the services we never had,” he said.
Mates4Mates Tasmanian Manager Daniel Vautin said
more than 13,000 current and ex-Defence personnel live
“We have some of the best support in the country
thanks to Mates4Mates,” Mr Vautin said.
“That includes free psychological and physical
rehabilitation services, employment and education
services rehabilitative adventure challenges and social
“We want Tasmanians to reach out and experience the
positive difference these services can make.”
The 25th Targa Tasmania rally started in Launceston
on Monday, April 11 and finished in Hobart on Saturday,
April 16. M4M
ABOVE: Zoë Black from RSPCA
thanks Mates for their support to
animals in need.
ABOVE: Many of the Mates appreciated
the chance to congratulate the graduates
and cuddle up to some RSPCA puppies.
IT was a big day for both two- and four-legged Mates
recently, with the first round of Mates from the
first RSPCA Queensland “Happy Paws Happy Hearts
Program” graduating with their Level 4 Certificate in
The program, a joint initiative between Mates4Mates
and RSPCA, provides obedience training to rescue
pets, increasing their chance of adoption. It also gives
the Mates an opportunity to learn valuable skills and
gain personal therapeutic benefits from working oneon-one with the animals.
Graduating Mates said the opportunity gave them a
reason to get out of the house and a goal to focus on,
along with the reward of knowing they have helped
another in need.
ABOVE: Some participants
said they used skills they
learned in the program to help
them with their own pets.
Zoë Black from RSPCA made the presentations
at the Brisbane Family Recover Centre graduation
ceremony, highlighting the success of the program.
Many of the graduating Mates will use their new-found
skills and confidence to continue volunteering at
Mates4Mates staff joined in the celebrations, and
of course the puppy cuddling, with a few words from
CEO Simon Sauer in support of our graduated Mates
and the program.
RSPCA has run similar programs with our Tasmanian
Mates, and with the amazing outcomes for both animal
and handler, we are hoping to continue the partnership
with plans for future courses and other engagements
with this worthy organisation. M4M