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Leading Seaman Vanessa Broughill

ADF Service: I joined the Australian Army in 2005 as an Electronic Warfare Operator. In 2009 I transferred to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as a Cryptologic Systems Operator in order to pursue a career in electronic intelligence.

I deployed on RAN ships throughout Asia and am currently posted to the Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Section (JEWOSU) in Adelaide, South Australia.

Age: 33

Hometown: Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

Current town: Adelaide, South Australia

Competing in: Athletics and swimming

Leading Seaman Vanessa Broughill

What is the Nature of your injury or illness?

I have had two separate operations on my right shoulder. These included removing a section of my acromioclavicular (AC) joint, repairs and a total re-stabilisation. I was also diagnosed with both anxiety and depression in late 2015 after what seems like years of suffering in silence.

What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?

I was so far down in a hole that I didn’t like leaving the house for anything. Participating in sport - especially being on the Invictus Games pathway - helped me to get past this.

Being held accountable by teammates compelled me to show up. It was less confronting than other social events and, after training or playing, I would feel like I accomplished something. This did the most wonderful things for me.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

I truly believe that being selected to represent Australia for the Invictus Games is my greatest achievement, so far.

Why did you apply for the Invictus Games 2018?

I have always loved sport and loved pushing myself to be better but have not allowed myself to take that time - just for me. I always put my ADF work and my family’s wellbeing ahead of my own.

With the Invictus Games, I saw an opportunity to improve myself as a person and get back to a place of happiness. I feel like it’s been forever since I have been truly happy and I am hoping that the Invictus Games journey will help get me there.

What will “winning” look like for you at these Games?

For me, finishing my events with a smile on my face, knowing I did my best.

The person I most admire is…

Since being involved with the Invictus Games, I have met the most amazing people who have been through some truly horrific events - in both combat and non-combat situations. They have pushed through pain and mental barriers and have come back into the world with the most admirable attitude to help everyone around them - even though, to the outside world, they are in fact people who, themselves, might need help.