APPVA Ambassador

Major Matina Jewell (Ret'd)

Major Matina Jewell (nee Stanfield) was born and raised in the picturesque hinterland of Byron Bay, Northern NSW. She joined the army as an Officer Cadet in 1994 and graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy with honours in 1996. Upon graduation from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1997, Matina joined the Royal Australian Transport Corps.

Matina has a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Masters in Project Management. Matina is multi lingual speaking Arabic and Bahasa Indonesian and has been an active sportswoman, representing both her state and country, competing at state level in ten sports and representing Australia in two sports internationally.

Matina is a specialist in Amphibious Operations and she is one of the very few females in the Australian Defence Force to have passed the physically demanding Navy Divers’ course and she is also qualified in fast roping from Navy Seaking helicopters. Her posting highlights include: Officer Commanding of the Ships Army Department on HMAS Kanimbla, Adjutant of the 9th Force Support Battalion and United Nations Peacekeeping.

Matina has deployed on five overseas operational missions. While with HMAS Kanimbla, she saw active service twice, on the second occasion in the North Arabian Gulf in the early stages of the war on terror, where in addition to her command responsibilities, she was involved in armed boardings onto ships smuggling contraband. As commander of the wharf security team, Matina was also required to fast rope out of helicopters onto docks to secure HMAS Kanimbla docking locations.

As Adjutant at 9th Force Support Battalion, Matina deployed as part of the intervention force into the Solomon Islands in 2003, where she played a critical role in the capture of the notorious militia leader, Jimmy ‘Rasta’ Lusibea. In 2005, Matina deployed as a Peacekeeper to Syria and then Lebanon as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO).

It was during her time working as the only Australian and only woman on the UNTSO Patrol Base (PB) Khiam on the border between Israel and Lebanon that war broke out in July 2006. The war was another violent episode in the history of Israel and its northern neighbour, Lebanon. PB Khiam was in the midst of full scale war. After a week of direct hits and dangerously close near misses to PB Khiam, Matina conducted a scheduled team rotation using UN armoured vehicles. Whilst commanding this convoy, Matina was seriously injured (five fractured and crushed vertebrae plus associated nerve damage) when her vehicle was forced to take evasive action. Just days after Matina’s injury during the team rotation, PB Khiam was destroyed by Israeli fighter jets killing all UN personnel manning the position.

Matina was retired from the Australian Army 04 May 2009 as a result of the injuries she sustained during the Lebanon War. In 2008, Matina married Clent Jewell, a marketing executive.

Matina is the Ambassador of the Australian Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Veterans’ Association and is a member of the ANZAC Centenary Commission providing advice to Government on the best way to commemorate 100 years of military service to the Australian community.

Honours and Awards:

Australian Active Service Medal – with two clasps: Middle East and International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT)

Afghanistan Campaign Medal

Australian Service Medal with 3 clasps: Solomon Islands I, Solomon Islands II, Middle East

Australian Defence Long Service Medal

Australian Defence Service Medal

United Nations Medal – UNTSO with numeral 2

Republic of Lebanon War Medal – Awarded for acts of bravery in war

Republic of Lebanon Wounded in Combat Medal – Awarded to military personnel wounded in war

Media Interviews:

Weblink ABC Local - Matina Jewell conversation with Richard Vidler on ABC Radio (September 2012)

Weblink Matina Jewell on ABC TV: Q&A - Women in Uniform (Monday 25 April, 2011)

Transcripts of Australian Story "The Blue Beret" on ABC TV (May 2010):

Part One - Weblink

Part Two - Weblink