A strong heart

July 6, 2022
Photo of mathew riding his bike on a cycling track

Mathew Woodberry is giving back to his community and achieving his personal goals.

Mathew, of Devonport, relives a horrific car accident every time he speaks to groups of high school students as part of the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness program.

His presentation includes graphic photographs of the brain trauma he received in a single vehicle accident 22 years ago when aged 19.

In May, he delivered four presentations on behalf of the Rotary Club of Devonport North in just the one week.  It’s his way of giving back to the community and educating young people about road safety.

“I had a very good response today,” he recalls after one session. “They asked me, how can you still be alive?

I show them the reality. I live in hope that I am making a difference to the world.

Back on the bike

Prior to his accident, Mathew had represented Tasmania in road cycling. His next goal was to represent Australia in track cycling.

Mathew’s love of the sport is as strong as ever. His Anglicare support team and his mother Julie encourage him in his goal to return to the bike and improve his skills.

Every Wednesday Mathew gets on his stationary bike for a 40-minute session, followed by a 30-minute rowing session. His resting heart-beat of 54 indicates he has a very high level of fitness, but he thinks he can still improve on it.

Mathew is supported by Anglicare under the Motor Accidents Insurance Board scheme.

Every Friday (if he is not giving a schools session) he is taken by an Anglicare support worker to the Devonport bike track. If it’s Graeme on shift, he will often join Mathew on laps around the track.

“I need assistance to get on [the bike] and I don’t have much use of my left hand,” explained Mathew.  “I’m missing the frontal lobe of my brain and that is what controls my left hand.

“But I like to think I’m improving,” he said.


Click her to find out more about Anglicare’s Acquired Injury Support Services.

The photos below show Anglicare support worker Graeme Boyd assisting Mathew to get ready for his weekly track session.



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