Keynote Speaker & Facilitator

An inspirational story of authentic leadership, resilience and courage in the face of crippling adversity to thrive through change.




Hear how Matina Jewell cheated death, took command and showed pure courage while leading teams under extreme conditions around the globe… and under fire during the Lebanon War.

What they are saying…

‘Her audience is taken to a world we know little of, as she astounds us with her courage and integrity…’

‘More than just another INCREDIBLE life-story, Matina drew-out her life lessons in a way that I could relate to.’

‘…a journey of self-reflection for perspective.  I was so moved personally and professionally.”


Major Matina Jewell (Retired) CSP

‘Military Trailblazer…’

  • At 23yo, Head of the Army Department aboard HMAS Kanimbla, then Australia’s largest Navy ship
  • First woman in the Army to complete the physically demanding Navy Diver course
  • Fast-roped from helicopters, boarded ships smuggling contraband & served with elite American Navy Seals in the Arabian Gulf
  • Helped track down a notorious militia leader in the Solomon Islands
  • Trained in three languages & holds a Masters in Project Management
  • Earned eight military medals
  • The only Australian to be awarded two Republic of Lebanon War Medals
Matina Jewell - A Remarkable Story
Matina Jewell

‘Change Champion…’

  • Former Prime Ministerial Advisor
  • Former National Mental Health Forum member
  • ANZAC Centenary Commissioner
  • Telstra Women in Business 2016 NSW Finalist
  • CPA Australia ‘Top 10 Thinkers’ who shaped 2015
  • Founding Ambassador for the Thankful Project
  • Ambassador – Peacekeeping Memorial
  • Authored best-selling memoir ‘Caught in the Crossfire’
  • ABC’s Australian Story & ‘I Survived’ feature documentaries
  • Corporate Advisor, Honorary Board Member & Philanthropist
  • Internationally recognised Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)
  • Mum with two young daughters who, Matina jokes,‘…make commanding 500 soldiers seem easy!’

Keynote Presentation

Key Take-outs…


“Authentic leadership often takes great courage”.


“Create a purpose-driven culture to thrive through change.”


“Resilient people, teams and organisations have the courage to turn challenges into opportunities.”


“Ensure clear ‘mission alignment’ to deliver on the ‘vision'”.

Adapting for Success

“Actions-on ‘war game-planning’ to equip for success.”

Empowering Teams

“10 mission-critical factors for high performing teams.”

Mental Health

Really knowing your team; your support may just be the impetus to turn a life around.”

Performing Under Pressure

“Managing stress to operate effectively outside your comfort zone.” (Learning opportunities!).

Decision & Risk Management

Research-backed decision making frameworks tested in some of the most hostile environments on earth.

Crisis Management

“Planning, practicing and executing with military precision.”

High Performance Culture

“Creating a high performance culture that supports decision making.”

Culture & Gender

“Draw on diversity to strengthen teams.”

Workshops & Facilitation

Game changing perspective, for your corporate battlefield.

Team Effectiveness

  • The importance of defining your team’s united PURPOSE
  • The key difference between WORK-GROUPS and your TEAM
  • Six critical factors that impact TEAM ENVIRONMENT
  • 10 vital elements for TEAM EFFECTIVENESS
  • War-game your ‘ACTIONS ON’ plan

…for immediate & long-lasting impact!

Other Workshops:

  • Culture for High Performance
  • Authentic Leadership
  • Change and Resilience

Coaching & Mentoring

One-on-one sessions* for life-changing clarity.

‘Purpose’ & ‘Meaning’

“It takes leaders who are courageous, who have the vision to take an organization in a direction where they may not be 100% sure about how things will look on the other side…”

– Matina Jewell, 2018


[ *  Very limited places ]


In the Media


Matina On "The Morning Show"




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LOOK!  View Matina’s footage through-out the book. Just scan the QR codes – an Australian first!

The Book

“…truly gripping read…”

“…couldn’t put it down.”

“You’re an inspiration.”

‘Caught in the Crossfire’ is a frighteningly dramatic first-hand account of what really happens in modern warfare and the high price our soldiers pay for their country.

“Readers will travel with you through the emotional roller coaster ride – it will bring tears… but it is the triumphs that will capture hearts and minds.”
– Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (retired), RSL National President


$29.99 inc. GST (free postage)

(Please enquire via contact form below for international postage.)

Prologue – Sitting Ducks

Knowing what’s coming, I put on my sky-blue UN armoured vest and helmet. My team-mates laugh and joke about how cute I look in my little blue armoured suit. But after the first 1000-pound aerial bomb hits a nearby town seconds later, smashing buildings apart, the mockers scramble for their own flak jackets and helmets.

It’s my turn to joke now, as they frantically put on their body armour behind the parapet of the observation platform, which, though made of reinforced concrete, would be no match for a direct hit. Our excitement and fear grow. Adrenaline is pumping through our bodies, making our voices high-pitched and speech rapid.

The Israeli artillery batteries open up from the Golan Heights. Crump-crump-crump! They are after the Hezbollah headquarters and other bases in and around the town of El Khiam. We are in their line of fire. Freight-train sounds crack overhead and then – Kaboom-kaboom-kaboom! – the town is ripped up. I cringe at the thought of hot metal flying into buildings, cars and people.

The artillery barrage continues for twenty minutes and then it stops. Silence. Time freezes. The artillery lifts to allow an Israeli fighter jet to fly in on its bombing run.

Lethal load inbound.

Then in slow motion – at eye level from me, just a cricket pitch distance away – comes a massive 1000-pound laser-guided aerial bomb. With its fins out, it glides smoothly and relentlessly to its target only 75 metres behind our observation post.

We dive for cover. Instinctively tucking our bodies up into self-preservation positions on the deck behind the ramparts, my team-mates and I await our fate. There is an ear-splitting explosion as the bomb hits the Hezbollah bunker, right on target. A compression blast rocks our observation deck like an earthquake and an enormous fireball ignites above our heads. Large pieces of steel shrapnel, chunks of concrete and metal reinforcement crash into our compound and bounce back into the sky as I bury my head between my knees. I pray that a big piece of debris doesn’t fall on me.

The chunks of metal and concrete and clods of dirt continue to fall around us. Clunk! Thud! They rain down – big bits and small bits. The air is stained with dust and smoke. I wait for a cry of agony, as something heavy smashes an exposed arm or leg – or worse. I hope that it will not be my own cry for help.

Suddenly the noise stops and my ears are ringing. Wolf ’s voice breaks through: ‘Bunker! Bunker! Go! Go! Go!’ The five of us run towards the spiral stairs that lead down to our underground bunker.

And so, on 12 July 2006, began another ordeal in a military career that had already had its trials and adventures. When I graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon in 1997, I could never have imagined the operations I would become involved in, both in the Solomon Islands and the North Arabian Gulf. Or that, nine years later, I would be running for my life in southern Lebanon as a member of a team of bright-blue peacekeepers – unarmed sitting ducks in the middle of a war.

Read More


Speaker Profile



MC Introduction


High Res Photos



Honorary Roles

Matina’s many honorary roles have included the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council, National Mental Health Forum and advisor to the Veterans Suicide Prevention Commission.  Matina’s continuing involvement with a long list of charities, worthy causes and youth mentoring include:

Matina is Ambassador for the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project Matina is Ambassador for the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project, helping to raise the funds to construct the memorial honouring the service, courage and sacrifice of Australian peacekeepers in the service of international peace and security.  It opened on 14th September 2017, on the 70th anniversary of Australia’s involvement in UN Peacekeeping Missions.
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ANZAC Centenary Commission Matina was one of the six member ANZAC Centenary Commission which included the former Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and the late Malcolm Fraser, providing advice to the Prime Minister and Government on how to commemorate arguably one of the most important milestones in our Nations history.
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Matina is a founding Ambassador for Project Thankful™ Matina is a founding Ambassador for Project Thankful™, a global movement to encourage us all to reflect and remind ourselves how the everyday can be extraordinary. Thankful™ is partnered with the United Nations to help empower and end cessation of violence against women and children globally.
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