Alstonville's amazing Matina has a string of firsts
MATINA Jewell's list of achievements is impressive.
By the end of her 15 year military career, the former Alstonville local had earned eight military service medals.
She is the only Australian to have received two Republic of Lebanon war medals and was the first female in the Army to complete the physically demanding Navy Diver course.
After retiring from the army, Ms Jewell wrote the best-selling memoir Caught in the Crossfire: An Australian Peacekeeper Beyond the Front-Line detailing her experiences in the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon.
She had been posted as a UN peacekeeper at Patrol Base Khiam in southern Lebanon along with three other soldiers when the peace treaty was broken.
What was supposed to be a two hour trip to a UN base in Tyre to rotate Ms Jewell off-base turned into a two day ordeal as roads were decimated by bombing and the convoy had to continually back-track to try to find alternative routes.
To find out more about Matina Jewell, read Leah White's story in Saturday's Weekend Star.