Moira Kelly (AO) – International Humanitarian and Global Peace Maker
Inspired by a video of Mother Theresa, at the tender age of 7, Moira Kelly bounded in from school and announced to her stunned mother, that one day, she too would work with the renowned Nun from Calcutta.
And so began, the inspirational vocation and life of an ‘ordinary girl from Melbourne’, who became an extraordinary Humanitarian, Australian and Citizen of the World!.
At only 18, Moira did indeed work with Mother Theresa in Calcutta and this was the start of an exciting 14 year humanitarian venture abroad. Moira worked in the soup kitchens of Johannesburg, with crack addicted babies in the Bronz, in Romanian orphanages, Refugee Camps in Bosnia and with sick children and the people of Albania.
Medical Evacuations fo Children
It was in response to meeting a horrifically injured boy and his desperate mother in Bosnia during the war, that Moira began her self funded medical evacuation of children for life saving and life altering operations. By 2001, Moira had already helped 120 children, from her laptop and her amazing tenacity and ability to solicit the support and resources of friends, family, surgeons, hospitals and volunteers. In 2001, Moira returned to home to establish the ‘Children’s First Foundation’ at Killmore on land she had been given to help children. Inspired by Moira’s selfless contribution the Rotary Club, friends and family joined forces to build the house, where to date more than 350 Children have been treated for a variety of critical conditions including open heart surgery, bowel reconstruction, plastic surgery, amputations and new prosthetic limbs. In all cases the lives of these children and their families has been transformed.
A Mother Herself
Becoming a Mother herself has been one of the most surprising and rewarding aspects of Moira’s journey. Under Moira’s loving care and encouragement, both Ahmed and Emmanuel from Iraq have overcome incredible disability and multiple surgeries to become wonderful, accomplished young Australian men in their own right. Ahmed, is now a world record holder for the 200 meter, a Paralympian swimmer and is studying Media and Communications at College. Emmanuel, who wowed the world with his unforgettable rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” on X-Factor 2011, is establishing a successful international singing/songwriting career.
Of course, beautiful Trishna and Krishna, born con-joined at the head in Bangladesh in 2006 are now famous the world over for not only surviving but thriving after the groundbreaking 38 hour surgery that saved their lives and gave them a bright and independent future.
The Moira Kelly Creating Hope Foundation
Following the twins’ surgery, Moira stepped back from many of her previous engagements for two years to provide the intensive care that they needed. It was a deeply transformative time that redefined for her what hope really means and as the result, she created the Moira Kelly Creating Hope Foundation in 2016. Moira says of her experience, “Caring for Krishna and Trishna changed me. Now I just want to take on causes that are in the ‘too hard’ basket. Where there is a little bit of hope, there is a tomorrow. This is the next phase of my giving.”
Life-Time Charity Worker
In recognition of her great work and achievements, Moira has received many awards.
More important to Moira than any of these formal awards is the heart-warming, soul stirring confirmation that by following her own inner guidance, ‘mountains can be moved’ and ‘dreams do come through. Of course, this divine inspiration and the joyous results are accompanied with a fair degree of perspiration, mental angst and emotional heart-ache.
While many people focus on their own goals, families, work and everyday challenges. Moira, together with this, also keeps a keen eye on her ‘hopes and dreams’ for others in the many projects and ways where she is striving to improve the quality of life for sick children, their families and other less fortunate or suffering people of the world.
Branching Out – Global Gardens of Peace
Moira’s latest humanitarian effort is well under way and this ambitious initiative will create a place of peace, tranquility beauty and most importantly healing and hope to the embattled people living in some of the most war torn cities of World. Because of Moira’s vision and determination, the “Global Gardens of Peace” has already secured 20 hectares of land in the Gaza strip!, one of the most densely populated places on the planet. Top Architects from the Victorian Botanical Garden have spent the past year designing the plans for the beautiful new Garden that will be a gift from the people of Australia to the people of Gaza, via Moira, of course and her always growing loyal band of volunteers and supporters.