Rachel has just completed a term in the Victorian Upper House and is looking to continue her life’s work through “Life with Dr Rachel” – where she will share her views on life – from vulnerabilities to victories.
Not one to shy away from great challenges throughout her own life, Rachel has a long held desire to champion society’s most vulnerable. In her inaugural speech in Parliament in 2014, she stated:
“I am no William Wilberforce, but he inspires me to value conviction over comfort, tenacity over temporary gain and devotion over indifference… Like Wilberforce, I am a non-conformist. I am not a bystander; I refuse to be a bystander. Under my watch there will not be silence... And so I stand here today … as a voice for the vulnerable, a voice for the enslaved and a voice for the voiceless.”
Rachel has long been a fierce defender of life. In 2013 she was inspired at a prolife rally to enter politics and raise legislation against the extreme legislation in her home state of Victoria. In 2014 Rachel was elected to Victoria’s upper house and less than two years later introduced the Infant Viability Bill, the first bill in the Victorian Parliament aimed at winding back the inhumane abortion laws of 2008. Although it did not pass, this bill garnered much needed support for the pro-life movement, including almost 30,000 signatures on a petition tabled in Parliament in support of the bill. Rachel’s work in this space has been vital to the progress of the pro-life movement in Victoria and she has inspired many people to make a stand for the values that they believe in.
In 2017, Rachel led the charge in the Upper House against the Victorian euthanasia bill introduced by the government. It was a long and arduous campaign and she worked tirelessly with a small group of pro-life MPs to fight for the true meaning of human dignity. While the bill passed, Rachel defended the valu e of human life until the very end. She is committed to seeing these laws overturned and to ensure that other states do not follow in Victoria’s footsteps down this dangerous path.
Rachel is the first and only MP in the country to move a motion to withdraw the Safe Schools Program and to restore the rights of parents to make decision for their children. She is a passionate advocate for families and children.
Due to negative experiences in her past, Rachel has always been a strong advocate against pornography which has led her to become an advocate within the abolitionist movement which seeks to combat sexual exploitation of women and children. Rachel practices what she preaches even at great personal cost – in 2017 she publicly spoke about her experience of finding out that her own husband had an illegal collection of child exploitation material (pornography) which she and her son Terrence had discovered. Rachel described the anguish of the discovery which ended her marriage instantly, in a story which has subsequently been published worldwide.
Prior to entering Parliament, Rachel spent almost two decades in the disability and ageing field -working with the most vulnerable in our society. She also experienced personal tragedy with the miscarriage of two children and speaks openly and honestly about loss and grief.