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12 czerwca 2008
A meeting with Hon. Mike Kelly

The Hon. Mike Kelly, Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, met organisers of the Mound & Mt Kosciuszko Festival, Ernestyna Skurjat-Kozek and Ursula Lang on Tuesday 10 June 2008. The meeting took place at his Queanbeyan office, and was very positive. Mike Kelly was presented with DVD reports of the historic concert on Mt Kosciuszko and the 2007 & 2008 editions of the Kosciuszko Festival, as well as two books about Kosciuszko: Thaddeus Kosciuszko. Military Engineer of the American Revolution by Colonel F.C. Kajencki, and Friends of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson, Thaddeus Kosciuszko and Agrippa Hull by two American historians Gary B. Nash & Graham R.G. Hodges (published only 2 months ago).

Mike Kelly promised to be the guest of the 2009 Festival as well as to support our application for a Living in Harmony Grant with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

He also supported the idea of honouring Kosciuszko for his many humanitarian achievements, as a brilliant military engineer, and as a symbol of democracy in Australia.

He promised support for organizing the Mound & Mt Kosciuszko Photographic Exhibition at Duntroon Military Academy so that students of the Academy may know more about General Kosciuszko.

Mike Kelly Biography

While working his way through university, Colonel Michael J. Kelly, AM (BA LLB, PhD) worked as a storeman and packer, a cleaner, and a labourer. Upon graduation from university and the College of Law, Mike worked at a law firm in Sydneyfighting for the rights of injured workers, helping with campaigns for those suffering from asbestos related diseases.

Mike joined the Army in 1987 and has extensive military experience including deployments in Somalia (for which he was awarded the Chief of the General Staff Commendation and made a Member of the Order of Australia); with the International Red Cross in Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia; Kenya; East Timor; working with the SAS in the lead-up to the Sydney Olympics; and at the Headquarters Australian Theatre and in Iraq. He finished his military career as Director of Operations and International Law and Director of Army Legal Services in 2007.

Mike has been a regular speaker at military training programs and conferences around the world and is a leading expert on Operations Law, peace operations, post conflict reconstruction and counter insurgency issues. He has published numerous articles and chapters in books on various military and legal subjects.

Mike has a long family history in Eden-Monaro. His great great grandfather, Thomas Joseph Kelly, settled in Bega in 1865. Thomas went on to found the Bega Cheese factory and was its first chairman. Thomas married the daughter of Daniel Gowing, also a significant family in the region, and had many descendants who helped build the area as farmers, saw millers and teachers. Mike’s great grandfather, Benjamin George Kelly, ran for the seat of Eden-Monaro in 1940 and his grand uncle, Father John Kelly, was the parish priest in Bombala and Braidwood before becoming a Monsignor and the Inspector of Catholic Education for the region. Mike has many relatives still living and working in the Bega/Tanja area.

Mike is now Parliamentary Secretary for Defence in the Rudd Labor Government.