Walking into Moira Kelly’s home is an experience which stays with you for days and weeks. The rooms are filled with stories of hope overcoming sadness or illness, every wall jam-packed with photos of smiling children from all over the world. The house holds so much energy and strength, much like Moira herself. At the front door of the Inner North Melbourne home, a gorgeous old Golden Retriever meets us with a wagging tail. There are family rules at the door; know you’re loved, help each other, have a happy heart.

 

Moira has a long history of helping people, children who need medical attention desperately and those who have been left behind. “I’m the person to put my hand up if everyone else thinks it’s too hard” Moira tells us over cups of tea and biscuits in their kitchen, the heart of the home. As we take turns holding the beautiful twins Moira and Molly (six months old) and David (three months old) we hear how Moira runs her household of seventeen. It’s a collaborative effort, with shared cooking duties and a team of carers. David’s mother Leila plays with the babies, feeds each them one by one and sips at her tea in between. It’s a wonder how any of the mothers actually eat during the day here!

Moira has dedicated her life to helping others, beginning alongside Mother Teresa in Calcutta and never looking back. After years of helping abroad, she returned home to Kilmore and established a home which has seen 350 children be treated for a wide range of conditions, their lives forever changed after their treatments are completed. When she herself became a mother of two boys from Iraq, her priorities and trajectory shifted once again. These two boys, Ahmed and Emmanuel are smiling down at us from various portraits in the home. A mother’s love evident in each proud photo displayed. Two years ago, Moira started yet another platform to provide help, the Moira Kelly Creating Hope Foundation, of which so many have already been gifted assistance.

 

The conjoined twins, Trishna and Krishna from Bangladesh were next to benefit from Moira’s relentless hard work and persistent efforts. Most people have heard of these two vibrant girls, their story followed closely in the media. Healthy and happy, they live under Moira and her team’s care, enjoying everything in life that children of that age should. On the very day we visit, it happens to be “Italian Day” at school. Moira proudly shows be a picture of the girls, along with Shahd who is from Gaza, another child who is part of the Kelly household. The smiles are wide across their faces while they don traditional costumes of red, white and green.

The Catholic Archdiocese gifted the Edwardian home to Moira and her family. As a student home, the state of the house was dire. With the help of so many wonderful builders and tradespeople, the bright yellow home is now comfortable and modern. A place where not only those mentioned here, but others can live too. Leila’s older son, William resides here, as does Sania and her beautifully named daughter Angel. The Mothers are all strong, lending a hand and sharing the caring load as much as they can. A busy household indeed.

 

Days are filled with emails, phone calls, school runs, medical appointments (of which there are many) and everything that a busy family home takes part in. Moira’s mind is always running full-pelt, you can tell by the way she speaks of projects, new children coming to the home, trips to far-flung parts of the world and the jigsaw puzzle of fitting everyone in this humble home. To speak to Moira is motivating and moving, prompting you to reflect on your own luck in life and what you could possibly do to give back in even the slightest of ways. It’s hardly a surprise to hear she frequents the stage at corporate events.

 

To be invited into this bustling home is a privilege, to gain insight into the workings of such a fearless woman and her tribe of hard-working mothers and carers. We look forward to supporting her and her family in the small way in which we can.