If you want to know who you are, don’t look in the mirror, don’t gaze at your navel. Gaze into the faces of the people who love you.
— Hugh Mackay
rach rach rach003a.jpg
What is so moving about Rachel’s story is not about how close to death she’s come, its how close to life. Although she’s experienced profound grief and loss, she has seen humanity and abundance in typically unseen places, and told people to look, to pay attention. When she speaks, you can hear joy and pain all at once; this is clearly someone who has felt the extremes of life and held the tension. While she works closely with words, and advocates for more empowering language to be used in healthcare, she also believes there is more to communication than what we say. That’s one of the lessons her daughter Evie taught her. That when we quiet the mind and feel the connection, there’s actually an entire conversation going on right there between our bodies.
— Nathan Scolaro, Editor of Dumbo Feather

I am Rach. A kiwi girl, who loves art and colour. I see beauty everywhere around me, especially in people and in the tiny parts of the world that are often overlooked. I am inspired by people, music, lyrics, poetry and the colour turquoise. I make images that are about more than the thing photographed. An image needs to be felt in my opinion. I can go a little overboard with metaphors.

I love whisky, (the smoky, campfire kind) my music playlists almost always feature Coldplay, Mumford and Sons, Dustin Tebbutt, The National, Little May, Banks and Bon Iver. I'm a bit of an Alt Pop/Indie girl I guess. But if you play some dirty hip-hop on a dance floor, I'll be all over that in a flash. When I was little I wanted to grow up to be a mermaid, but since I couldn't, I aimed for being a diver, dancer, writer, artist and gymnast- I did a few of these things. A friend told me once that we are all of our ages all at once. So the little girl that was a diver, still lives in me and comes out from time to time, as does the dancer.  Maybe we never grow old, maybe we just create and collect more versions of ourselves and they are all built on the foundation of our truest self. The self that believes that we can be anything, that we are infinite consciousness and pure potentiality.

PreFlight 088.jpg

I would not be who I am today without Evie. Evie is my daughter, she was a Super Power Baby. She was not made for this world but for somewhere more beautiful. I see her in the stars and in the lyrics to Yellow by Coldplay.  She is all around me and in everything I do. The marks of her presence are forever on my skin. I am reminded of her in all things yellow and I wear something yellow every day to keep her close. 

Because of Evie I celebrate love and life more intentionally than I used to. I have a much bigger and open-hearted view of humanity. She is now made of stars and ash and turquoise. She is in every molecule of the universe.

My work life is varied and involves speaking to diverse audiences about challenging the deficit language used with regards to disability and the importance of effective and empowering communication in healthcare. I make art which involves painting and photography, sometimes at the same time. I have enjoyed being a wedding and portrait photographer over the last decade, but now, I am excited about focusing my energy into other things I am passionate about. I am sharing my thoughts about acceptance and diversity and they are being heard, adopted and transforming lives.

Love, loss, grief, growth, freedom, hope, transformation, rebuilding... all of these things are part of my story. They are in my past, my present, and will shape my future. I am proud of where I have been, what I have seen, what I have endured and where I am going.  I am bridging the gap, holding the space between parent/patient and health professional, I am a translator, advocate, educator and change maker.

Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
— Viktor Frankl