International Humanitarian & Global Peacemaker
Captivated by the work of Mother Theresa, Moira Kelly stuck to her childhood vow to work with the revered nun and was inspired to begin her own journey of humanitarian aid. In 1999 Moira opened the doors on The Children First Foundation, an organisation run to connect children the world over with the medical treatment needed to live. From Bosnia to the Bronx Moira has given hope and life to hundreds of families, facilitating the treatment of their children, and overseeing their aftercare on her farm outside Melbourne. Moira is driven by her philosophy, "Wherever there is the greatest evil, the greatest good can be achieved.
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 renown Nun from Calcutta, Mother Teresa.
Moira's belief in the power to change the world for the better, her insight determination and her positive attitude have made her an extraordinary role model.
Her innovative thinking and leadership have supported some of the world’s most disadvantaged children from an early age in countries including Australia, India, Romania, Bosnia, Botswana, Albania Townships in South Africa in the USA with inner city and homeless children in the Bronx New York.
Moira fulfilled a lifelong dream when she met Mother Teresa in Calcutta India. She worked alongside her greatest mentor, which planted the seeds and opened the window to her soul. Moira knew this is where her heart belonged.
She began finding children in third world countries, who are struggling with life threatening physical conditions that would be completely operable in the Western world. She offered them hope, and the chance to access medical attention they would otherwise be deprived of.
14 years of Humanitarian service and adventures abroad, enabled Moira to have the tenacity to bring her work home to Australia and to set up her own organisations founded and based in her home town of Melbourne Australia. For many children it can mean months of recuperation and when they leave hospital, these children are cared for at Moira's "Children First Rotary Farm" outside Melbourne. When the children are well enough to travel they go home to their own countries and to the mothers and fathers who have parted with them for so long.
The Children First Foundation and Global Gardens of Peace was founded to support the wonderful humanitarian efforts for so many.
It was in response to the great need in Bosnia where Moira resided for over 4 years. During the war, she was confronted with so many horrifically injured children, the pleads of so many beautiful and desperate mothers begging someone to assist their injured children. This touched Moira so deeply, and began her self-funded medical evacuation of children for life saving and life altering operations.
By 2000 Moira had already evacuated over 120 children with the help of family and friends and Rotary Clubs, and would basically plead with hospitals in different countries and cities all over the world to donate a bed.
And so began the inspirational vacation and life and an “ordinary girl from Melbourne” who has become an extraordinary Humanitarian, Australian, and Citizen of the world.
Becoming a Mother herself has been one of the most surprising and rewarding aspects of Moira’s journey.
During Moira's traveles to Iraq in 1998, she came across two young children in an Orphanage with major limb amoralities and both needing major corrective surgeries. Unaware this meeting would change the whole world for Moira and these two young boys. After two years of painstaking visa, passport, and red tape problems that also involved Interpol, and having the determination of never giving up with the incredible support of her parents, the impossible happened and passports were finally issued and visas granted.
These two young boys are now Moira's Sons.
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 holding Paralympian swimmer and represented Australia in London at the Paraplympics. Emmanuel, who wowed the world with his unforgettable rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” on X-Factor 2011, is establishing a successful international singing and song writing career.
Trishna & Krishna
In 2008 Trishna and Krishna previously conjoined twins from Bangladesh entered Moira's Life, her life completely changed and took on a whole new meaning. She became a full time carer, nurse and a mother. The journey of the twins would see Moira step down from a lot of her previous commitments and devote her time totally to the welfare and special needs of these very special little girls alongside her devoted and loving friends and carers who assist Moira on a daily basis.
Moira is also caring for a young girl from Albania who has had some major corrective surgery and is living and going to school in Australia and another addition to the family is a young 11 year old child from an Orphanage in Burma who is legally blind and deaf however she is a beautiful artist and is now been mentored by a Victoria leading artist and a Archibald artist in Melbourne.
For many children it can mean months of recuperation and when they leave hospital, these children are cared for at Moira's "Children First Rotary Farm" outside Melbourne. When the children are well enough to travel they go home to their own countries and to the mothers and fathers who have parted with them for so long.
Moira says, "It is a funny world we live in really, where what passport you own determines whether you live or die, so someone really has to change that ... we really are not born equal."
Community Awards and Achievements • 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
"Global Gardens of Peace"
Moira’s latest humanitarian effort is well under way and this ambitious initiative to create a children’s garden and safe area for the children and families in Gaza Palestine.
Moira’s vision and determination for 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.
Since her journey with the twins, Moira has a better understanding and compassion of the role of a carer, because of this she has been appointed the Ambassador of Carers Victoria to help raise the profile of carers and raise awareness of the challengers they experience.
The Work of Moira Children’s First Foundation continues, thru the International medical evacuation program. Moira is no longer involved in Children First Foundation presently as she is working to establish her first safe area / garden in the Gaza strip alongside her team at Global Garden of Peace she is extremely committed and dedicated to this cause, and also being a mother for 6 children with disabilities.
Moira’s work has been the subject of over 4 documentaries. Her work has been acknowledged internationally and carries on today through the various charities she has established or where she acts as Ambassador.
She is presently an active board member and Founder of Global Gardens of Peace and a campaigner and speaks out for carers and refugee and displaced persons.
Moira's presentations are inspirational, compelling and full of wonderful charm with a sense of humour. He achievements and power of the human spirit impacts audiences globally.
I've heard a lot of top speakers and Moira Kelly is amongst them. A natural speaker, she held me absolutely riveted by her story and sent me home both moved and totally inspired. Moira is a woman of passion and compassion, a woman of action, yet simple and authentic. Her story is both compelling and immediately relevant in today's world situation.
Moira Kelly is an outstanding woman with a heart of gold and an enthusiastic down-to-earth manner. Her very genuine soul shines through her presentation, which is full of enthusiasm and very voluble. She held the audience spellbound and we could hear a pin drop as she told wonderful stories of the deprived children and families she has helped. I would have no hesitation in recommending Moira as an inspirational speaker to any age group or organisation.
Excellent. Moira’s natural charm, passion and commitment to ‘her path’ was and is, inspirational.
As a Keynote speaker particularly at the conclusion of a full and exciting day for delegates Moira was everything we could have hoped for and more. Moira’s clear and focused love for ‘her children’ touched the hearts and minds of all 997 people in the audience. She has a great capacity to reach in and unlock the deeper compassion of her audience, which she does with such enthusiasm and humility. A ‘not to be missed’ speaker.
Moira was an exceptional speaker. From the moment Moira walked in, she circulated and spoke with as many people as she could- she was friendly, engaging and real , and her stories held people spellbound. Moira’s humble approach combined with her stories of challenge and triumph were a powerful combination that left people feeling uplifted and inspired. I have organised many conferences and speakers before, and I can honestly say that Moria has been the only speaker to arrive early and take the time to both meet and speak to staff. Moira sat at different tables and left people feeling as though they had made a genuine connection, which just added to the overall impact of her presentation. I can’t recommend Moira highly enough for an event where you are looking for someone to truly inspire your team.
Maribyrnong City Council VICT
Excellent ! Moira is an amazing story-teller and incredible, beautiful person. An often emotional, always engaging talk with a powerful message.