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Moira Kelly AO

Moira Kelly AO

International Humanitarian and Global Peace Maker, Moira Kelly was inspired by a video of Mother Theresa at the ripe age of 7. Moira’s focus from a very young age and belief in the power to change the world for the better, her insight determination and positive attitude has made Moira an extraordinary role model.

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Testimonials for Moira Kelly AO

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the conference was an address by Ms Moira Kelly about her work in many war-torn, impoverished areas of the world. Her life's work focuses on the children; the innocent victims in all this and her marvellous work in giving these young people a good quality of life. Moira is without doubt the most inspirational speaker I have ever listened to. Her candid honest approach is both powerful and tender and it is impossible not to feel part of her struggle as she details her moving experiences with us. It is rare and totally refreshing to listen to someone who has dedicated her life to helping others expecting nothing in return. I would highly recommend her as a speaker for any event you may be considering.

Convince Australia


Moira was just fantastic. As I have said before many of the girls as Year 9 students

studied Moira as a modern day prophet, she therefore was well received on the day. She was inspirational and engendered a sense of purpose within the girls. Her story was extraordinary; it was just amazing that so much can be achieved by one person with a love of humanity. Moira gave the girls a great insight into what can be achieved if you never give up.

Marian College

Moira Kelly AO Travels from VIC
Fee Range: :$5001 to $10000

Moira Kelly AO's Biography

International Humanitarian and Global Peace Maker, Moira Kelly was inspired by a video of Mother Theresa at the ripe age of 7. Moira’s focus from a very young age and belief in the power to change the world for the better, her insight determination and positive attitude has made Moira an extraordinary role model.

Her innovative thinking and leadership have supported some of the world’s most disadvantage children from an early age in countries including Australia, India, Romania, Bosnia, Botswana, Albania and the Townships in South Africa. Her work was also appreciated whilst living in USA with inner city and homeless children in the Bronx, New York.

Living in Calcutta, India for two years and having the incredible opportunity to work alongside her greatest mentor Mother Theresa, did not only fulfil a lifelong dream but it also planted the seeds and opened the windows to her soul. Moira knew this was where she belonged.  This was the start of an exciting 14 years of Humanitarian service and adventures abroad which has enabled her to have the tenacity to continue the work at home in Australia. It also gave her a chance to set up her own organisations founded and based in her home town of Melbourne, Australia.

On certain occasions, Moira would casually say, “If l can send all these children abroad to Ireland, Australia, America, Canada, Britain and Austria with no money and on a lap top in my humble little Albanian apartment – l can certainly do this at home in Australia.” Hence the Children First Foundation and Global Gardens of Peace were both founded to support the wonderful humanitarian efforts over so many years.

It was in response to the great need in Bosnia where Moira resided for over four years during the Balkans war. Confronted by so many horrifically injured children, the plea from a large number of beautiful and desperate mothers, begging for someone to assist their wounded children touched Moira so deeply. With little time to waste, her self-funded medical evacuation for children to receive life saving and life changing operations was well underway.

So began the inspirational vacation and life of an, “ordinary girl from Melbourne” who had become an extraordinary Humanitarian and citizen of the world.  By the year 2000, over 120 children had been supported with the help from family, friends and Rotary Clubs across Victoria. Moira would basically plead with hospitals in different countries and cities all over the world to donate a bed for a child being operated by doctors who generously gave their time.

Becoming a mother herself has been one of the most surprising and rewarding aspects of Moira’s journey. During her travels to Iraq in 1998, she came across two young children in an orphanage with major limb deficiencies and both needing major life changing surgeries.

Unaware this meeting would change the whole world for Moira and these two young boys in the very near future. 

After two years of painstaking visa, passport, and red tape difficulties which had also involved Interpol, the determination of never giving up and with the incredible support from her parents, the impossible was now possible. The boys finally had their passports issued and visas granted. These two young boys are now Moira’s sons. Under her loving care and encouragement, both Ahmed and Emmanuel from Iraq have overcome their incredible disability and multiple surgeries to become wonderful, accomplished young Australian men in their own right.

Ahmed is now a world record holding Paralympic swimmer who represented Australia at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. He is currently attending University and studying the Bachelor of Arts. Emmanuel, who surprised the world with his unforgettable rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” on X-Factor 2011, is establishing a successful international singing/songwriting career.

Previously conjoined twins from Bangladesh, Trishna and Krishna entered into Moira’s life in 2008 and by doing so, her life completely changed. Moira describes when she first started caring for the two girls it had given her a whole new meaning to life. She became a full time carer, nurse and a mother. The journey of the twins would see Moira step down from so many of her previous commitments and devote her time solely for the welfare and special needs of these very special little girls. Her task of caring for the girls had been made a little easier with the dedicated loving friends and carers who were generously willing to assist Moira on a daily basis.

Moira is also caring for a young girl from Albania who has had some major life changing surgery and is living and going to school in Australia. Just recently the “Kelly Gang” had another addition to the family with a young 11 year old girl from an orphanage in Burma. Legally blind and deaf, her beautiful art work has surprised everyone in the house and now being mentored by a Victorian leading Archibald artist here in Melbourne.

In recognition of her great work and achievements, Moira has received many accolades and awards, including:

•          Victorian Young Achiever of the Year 1986
•          Bicentenary Young Woman of the Year 1988
•          Paul Harris Fellow
•          Prime Minister award 2000
•          10 outstanding young people of the world for Community Service Barcelona Spain 2000
•          Meeting with the Queen in Buckingham Palace for her efforts in Bosnia 1994
•          Anzac Award 2004
•          Inaugural Sir Edward Dunlop Award 1992
•          The Order of Australia in 2001
•          Victorian of the Year 2012
•          Multiple nominations for Australian of the Year
•          Australian Torch Bearer for the London Olympics 2013
•          Victorian Honour Roll of Women 2014

While many people focus on their own goals, families, work and everyday challenges, Moira also keeps a keen eye on her ‘hopes and dreams’ for others through many of the different projects. Continuing to find ways where she is able to strive to improve the life quality of sick children, their families and others who are less fortunate or suffering in the world, Moira doesn’t seem to know the meaning of, “take a break”

Moira’s latest humanitarian effort is well under way through her ambitious initiative of creating a children’s garden and safe area for families in Gaza, Palestine to enjoy.

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. A gift from the people of Australia to the people of Gaza, via Moira, of course and her ever growing loyal band of volunteers and supporters.

Having gone through the journey of the twins, Moira had developed a better understanding and compassion towards carers. Carers Victoria appointed Moira as their Ambassador to help raise awareness and profile of carers as well as the challenges they experience.

The work of, ‘Moira Kelly’s Children First Foundation’ continues through the International medical evacuation program. Moira is no longer directly involved in Children First Foundation and presently working to establish her first safe area / Global Garden of Peace. Moira is extremely committed and dedicated to this cause, and also being a mother for 6 children with disability.

A natural speaker and holds her audience spellbound, you could hear a pin drop whilst this motivated woman brings some of the stories back to life. This remarkable woman of passion and compassion also brings across a wonderful sense of humility. I have no hesitation in recommending Moira. She is most compelling and relevant for today’s world issues.

Of course, a 45 to 60 minutes Keynote address and multi-media is hardly enough time to scratch the surface on this amazing woman’s life story.  It is guaranteed to move each delegate to the core of their being.  They will be riveted to their seats, at times in fits of laughter, sometimes with a few tears however always inspired by the unbelievable feats that can be achieved with the power of a human spirit on fire.  For some, just like the many children and families Moira has helped, it may even be a life-changing experience!

Moira’s work has been the subject of over 4 documentaries. Her work has been acknowledged internationally and carries on today through the various charity’s she has established or where she acts as an Ambassador. She is presently an active board member and founder of Global Gardens of Peace, and a campaigner and speaks out for carers and refugees and displaced persons.

Speaking Topics Include

Wherever there is the greatest evil, the greatest good can be achieved