skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

Leading Seaman Vanessa Broughill

ADF Service: I joined the Australian Army in 2005 as an Electronic Warfare Operator and in 2009 transferred to the Royal Australian Navy to pursue a career in electronic intelligence. After 14 years in the military I have decided to pursue a civilian career and continue my military work as a reservist. During my time in the Navy I deployed throughout South East Asia and conducted border protection patrols around Australia.

Age: 34

Home town: I was born in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, but moved around a lot as a child so my home town is where ever my family is.

Current town: Adelaide, South Australia

Competing in: Athletics, cycling, power-lifting, indoor rowing, swimming and sitting volleyball

Leading Seaman Vanessa Broughill

What is the nature of your injury or illness?

I had my first shoulder surgery in 2010 and then had to have a second surgery on the same shoulder in 2015. That year I was also diagnosed with both anxiety and depression after what felt like years of suffering in silence.

What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?

Sport and the Invictus Games have changed my life. All of a sudden I had a goal and that goal kept me accountable. When that wasn't enough the amazing people surrounding me were there to keep me honest and on track. Going back to sport has been vital in my recovery. Not only did it encourage me to improve strength and movement in my shoulder but it got me out of the house. I found myself wanting to get out and go to the gym or training and even just get out to see friends. I am slowly becoming the old me - the best version of me.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Competing at Invictus Games Sydney 2018 was pretty amazing.

Why did you apply for the Invictus Games?

Medication and therapy were doing well for my recovery but I needed something more; something to push me that bit further and closer to the best me I can be.

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

I have already won in so many ways! At these Games I really want to encourage others to take the journey to wellness and most importantly the journey to being the best version of themselves. Everyone deserves to be happy in their lives, and within themselves. If I can help just one person to do that then I am truly winning.

The person I most admire is...

My husband. I have been on this journey for a little while now and he has been there every step of the way. He has supported me and more importantly supported our children while I've taken care of me. He encourages me to take the time I need, but also helps the children to understand it is important to look after ourselves and our health.