Lockheed Martin Australia announces Invictus Games Sydney 2018 partnership

Lockheed Martin Australia’s enduring support for organisations that both honour and assist members of Australia’s armed forces was reaffirmed with the announcement of two new partnerships – one with the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 and the other with the Australian War Memorial.

Members of the Australian Defence Force, members of the 2018 Australian Invictus Games squad, dignitaries and industry representatives attended an event at the Australian War Memorial to mark the formal announcement of the partnerships and to encourage support for the Australian squad members vying to compete in October.

Speaking at the event, Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive, Vince Di Pietro AM CSC, said the defence technology and innovation company was proud to honour the legacy of those who serve, through its partnerships with the Australian War Memorial and the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

“At Lockheed Martin Australia we support organisations that assist members of our armed forces, past and present, and their families and friends to achieve greater understanding of their sacrifice,” said Mr Di Pietro.

“It is in this spirit that our renewed three-year partnership with the Australian War Memorial will this year focus on initiatives commemorating the centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War,” he said.

Australian War Memorial Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, said Lockheed Martin Australia had a long history of working with organisations that honour and support members of Australia’s armed forces.

“We are proud to be associated with Lockheed Martin Australia, whose vital support enables the Memorial tell the stories of Australian service and sacrifice during the First World War and subsequent theatres of operation to more Australians than ever,” said Dr Nelson. “We thank Lockheed Martin Australia for its continued support.”

Lockheed Martin Australia’s new partnership with the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 reflects the company’s recognition of the many challenges faced by veterans re-integrating to society post-service.

“Our new partnership with the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 is testimony to our commitment to support our service men and women with programs that assist them and their families, and engender a greater community awareness and appreciation of their contribution,” said Mr Di Pietro.

Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Chief Operating Officer Ben Rahilly expressed his appreciation for Lockheed Martin Australia’s support of the Games.

“We are grateful to have Lockheed Martin Australia join us on our journey to Invictus Games Sydney 2018 presented by Jaguar Land Rover,” said Mr Rahilly.

“A defence industry leader, Lockheed Martin Australia is dedicated to supporting service members with programs that improve their lives and the lives of their families.

“Together we share this purpose and the partnership that we’ve announced today will ensure the Games have an enduring impact and legacy for veterans well beyond October 2018,” he said.

2018 Australian Invictus Games squad member Ben Farinazzo was appointed as an Australian Army Officer and deployed on active service as part of the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET) in 1999. He successfully transitioned from the military and held several board and executive leadership roles supporting the disadvantaged across Australia.

In recent years, Ben and his family have faced several challenges. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression as a result of his military service. In addition, he had a mountain bike accident and incurred multiple injuries including fracturing his neck and spine in several places.

Training for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 has supported Ben’s recovery, having enabled him to refocus his energy and reconnect with like-minded individuals. He hopes to represent Australia in indoor rowing and powerlifting.