Rachel graduated from the University of Sydney with a B.App.Sc (Occupational Therapy) and Class 1 Honours in 1997. She spent two years working as a parent educator with the NSW Parent-Child Health and Wellbeing Project before heading overseas in 2000, where she worked in diverse settings, from clinical to teaching positions, as an OT in the UK and Africa. Her final position was setting up an OT service for people with intelectual disabilities in northwest London.
Rachel returned to the School of Occupation and Leisure Sciences and the Australian Family and Disability Studies Research collaboration (AFDSRC) to undertake a PhD in 2002. Her doctoral research aimed to understand the meaning of becoming a mother for women with intellectual disabilities.
Rachel now manages an AFDSRC research project entitled 'Maintaining family based placements for children and young people with disabilities'. She also teaches in the Graduate Studies in Developmental Disability program at the University of Sydney and supervises a number of occupational therapy honours students.