“Kirsty is the reason I decided to go to Uni, she believed in me and my potential before I believed in it! She has done nothing but encourage me on my leadership journey!” (Rachelle)

“I am so thankful to the course for fostering long-term friendship and feel I am truly grateful to have Rachelle as a best friend.(Kirsty)

Kirsty Glanville and Rachelle Kelly completed the Certificate IV course in 2009 and have remained best friends since meeting at the airport at the beginning of the course.

Rachelle is from Canberra and grew up here and has lived here for her entire life. She is currently the Galambany Circle Sentencing Court Coordinator. This is a specialist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sentencing process that acts as part of the ACT Magistrates Court. As part of her work Rachelle spends time visiting clients, both youth and adult offenders. She has a strong interest in criminal law and in 2012 began studying law part-time through Deakin University while she also works full-time and raises her two-year-old son Damon!

For Rachelle a key benefit of the course was building confidence in her own ability and developing strong communication skills. Prior to the course Rachelle expressed that when people would talk to her she was lost for words and struggled to hold a conversation. The course equipped her with skills that she has been able to build on. She recalls the networking activity as a particular challenge

Rachelle feels that the course definitely changed her life.

Before doing the course she felt trapped in her life, destined to be ‘a nobody and a nothing’. The course raised Rachelle’s confidence and made her feel independent to make her own decisions and choose her own life path. Since completing the course Rachelle has gained promotion in her position with the ACT government and began studying Law, two things that she had long talked about but had been held back from doing by her own insecurities.

 “I never had the confidence within myself to believe that I could achieve much with my life. I always felt I was never smart enough or good enough. But after the course, and listening to peoples stories and their hardships I now feel like I could and should do anything I want!” (Rachelle)

Kirsty grew up in Cootamundra but has lived in Canberra for the majority of the last 16 years. She currently works at the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, where she has worked for the last six years. She took time off to establish the Australian Indigenous Allied Health Organisation, a peak organisation for indigenous allied health. She returned to the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in November, 2011.Like Rachelle, Kirsty also studies part-time whilst working full-time. She is completing a Masters in Public Health through Deakin University and has aspirations to do her PhD in an area related to indigenous health. Kirsty has a connection with a professor at the University of Toussone (?)  who is an expert in health for first peoples. She would like to work  She is also keen to spend time doing a work placement at the World Health Organisation.

The course re-instilled Kirsty’s confidence that she had lost in herself and through the course learning she was expanded and pushed to be a better person. Kirsty believes that the course was the impetus for her further study, and doubts that without it she would have pursued study at all, let alone study at a Master’s level.  The time management and networking skills that Kirsty gained through the course have given Kirsty the confidence and ability to manage any situation. Since the course

Both Rachelle and Kirsty expressed that the accreditation of the course gave their efforts value and meaning. This was the highest qualification that Rachelle had at that stage. For both women, the experience of the AILC course made them realise that they were able and had the skills to pursue further formal study.

 “Having that belief in yourself that you can actually do it, it’s really just that. You’ve got the ability to do anything; you just have to have faith in yourself to be able to do it.” (Kirsty)

Rachelle on Kirsty:

“My partner Graeme had been friends with Kirsty for over 10 years but I had never met her. I found out that Kirsty was also going to be doing the Leadership course and Graeme said make sure you say hello, she has blonde curly hair and she will look after you! I saw Kirsty at the Airport, before we flew out, I thought I better go say hello! From then on we hit it off; we sat on the plane together, were roomies, and also learning buddies!

I‘m so thankful Kirsty came into my life, she is my best friend and the best Aunty to my son who I know she loves like her own and he loves her just as much. She has been there for me through all of my ups and downs and has never once judged me even when she had a different opinion .I am completely grateful for her friendship, and I know if it had not have been for the Leadership Program we would not be where we are today!

Kirsty on Rachelle:

“I am so blessed that I have Rachelle in my life. She is my first point of call in sadness, stress, happiness and even boredom. Rachelle provides me with unconditional support and her faith in me is unwavering even when I feel like I am ready to give up on myself – she never has! She has been there to support me through some of the most challenging years of my life and I am serious when I say I am not sure what I would do without her. I am blessed to be considered an Aunty, the favourite one of course, to her wonderful son who continues to show me just how wonderful life is! I am an active member of his life and I cherish every moment!

“People doubt you when you say it’s life-changing, but it is life-changing, everybody that did it with us has done things differently in their life because of the course” (Kirsty)


Kirsty Glanville and Rachelle Kelly