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Rachael Cosgrove, President

Service: Royal Australian Navy
Category: Principal Warfare Officer – Mine Warfare
Location: Sydney, NSW

Rachael joined the Royal Australian Navy in October 1999, as a Junior Rate, qualifying as a Boatswains Mate. Following the completion of a 10-year career as a JNCO Rachael decided to apply for her commission in 2008. In 2009 Rachael joined HMAS Creswell as a Midshipman to specialise as Maritime Warfare Officer. Rachael has recently completed the Principal Warfare Officer course specialising in Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving. She completed a series of postings at sea and ashore having served on Patrol Boats, Frigates, Supply, Amphibious and more recently the Mine Hunter Coastal. 

In 2013, she married her lifelong sweetheart, Gillian in a ceremony in Wollongong that was witnessed by many family and friends. Rachael and Gillian shared a 13-year-old child at the time and decided to add to the value of three. They now have a 22-year-old son (Corban), a 7-year-old daughter. (Kaitlyn) and 5-year-old daughter, (Sophie). Rachael took some time away from the pressures of the sea-going environment to focus on family. As a family they moved to Sydney so that Rachael could pursue her career advancement course. They currently live in Mascot where they have established a happy pattern of life. 

In 2008 Rachael marched with DEFGLIS as the first contingent with Defence Approval, this milestone event saw her become passionate about the DEFGLIS platform and committed to helping in any way possible to build a more robust support network for the Defence LGBTIQ community. In 2019 Rachael marched for the first time in uniform after marching for consecutive years with her family, this was a moment that she will never forget. Rachael is an outwardly spoken advocate for all members of the community, she has an invested interest in the treatment of the TGD members as well as the barriers still being faced by same-sex families and families of non-traditional composition.        

In 2017 Rachael became a member of the Navy Reference Group- Diverse Sex, Sexuality and Gender as a founding board member, and has since been a part of the Group working under the Director Navy Diversity and Inclusion as a side bar. This is where she met other active members within DEFGLIS and made the decision in consultation with her wife to nominate for a Board position. Over the course of the 4 years Rachael has been Events Director and Families advocate, coordinating the first DEFGLIS Family Fun Day in 2021. 

Rachael believes that although much has changed there is still a long way to go before all members of our community feel the absolute effects of equality and fairness. There are areas that have seen a real positive shift and as a community we should be thankful, she believes that although change will occur it will always occur in Defence time and this is where she believes that DEFGLSI holds the greatest value, as an organisation we can share those feelings of time stall and press together through friendship, support, mentorship and peer group community events and networking. Rachael believes that DEFGLIS plays a vital role in the support and success of our members.  

Over the course of her 22 years of service Rachael has made many friends and has had the opportunity to know those in quite influential positions these days, she plans on pivoting off these friendships to help project the importance of awareness, education and peer support for the LGBTIQ community. Whilst DEFGLIS is not the policy maker and nor should it be, we can influence and empower those that are. Rachael is passionate about reconnecting with the community and bringing us together through on-line events, forums, social gatherings and of course the successful projects already established like the Rainbow Wreath Project, the Ski Trip, the introduction of a DEFGLIS Party, of course our MG attendance and the long-awaited Military Pride Ball making it’s come back in 2022.

Rachael is extremely proud to be supported as the 2022 DEFGLIS President and she will be supported by her wife Gill. What you will always get from Rachael is honesty, integrity, courage to speak up and out when required. She will listen and act if it is the best interest of the organisation and the member group.

If you have any ideas or questions for Rachael please contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.