Kathy Kelly

Corporate Speakers

About Kathy Kelly

Many of us can hardly imagine the pain of turning off a child's life support. In July 2012, this nightmare became a reality for Kathy and her husband Ralph when their 18-year-old son, Thomas Kelly, fell victim to an indiscriminate attack by a drunken teenager in Sydney's Kings Cross, resulting in Thomas's death.

Facing this tragedy head-on, Kathy received disheartening news from the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that their family might struggle to see their son's killer brought to justice. In this defining moment, Kathy drew on a reservoir of bravery she hadn't known she possessed. She knew she had to honour Thomas's life and fight to ensure justice and safety on Australian streets.

In September 2013, Kathy and Ralph Kelly established the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation. The foundation aims to reduce alcohol and drug-related violence and anti-social behavior among young people in Australia by raising community awareness and influencing government regulation and industry practices.

This powerful movement began by amending sentencing laws through lobbying the NSW State Premier and Attorney General. Other significant achievements include installing 11 CCTV cameras across the Sydney CBD (in conjunction with the City of Sydney) and advocating for the controversial lockout laws implemented in February 2014.

The foundation has achieved remarkable successes in a short time. While these achievements cannot bring Thomas back, Kathy's sheer bravery has driven the social change the foundation has accomplished.

In her presentation, Kathy recounts a powerful journey through grief, depression, and the courage required to transform deep pain into a mission of purpose. She is an inspiring example of overcoming adversity and turning crisis into an opportunity for profound social change, highlighting the adverse impact of alcohol abuse in our communities.

As a speaker, Kathy is authentic, charismatic, and delivers an emotionally charged keynote with grace and ease. Her story is raw and real, yet her message is filled with practical tools for dealing with adversity and developing resilience. She has found beauty in bravery and stands as a shining example of an Australian woman who used a devastating crisis to become one of the most impactful change agents of our time.

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