The following piece has been written by La Porchetta’s CEO, Sara Pantaleo.
Moira Kelly AO is an extraordinary humanitarian and public figure and I’m privileged to have known her for more than a decade. She was instrumental in forming the Children First Foundation, which brings children from poor and war torn countries to Australia to have urgently needed medical treatment
I first met Moira at a fundraising event during which her adopted son, Emmanuel Kelly sang. Our relationship grew from there and she and her children often ate at La Porchetta Carlton.
Some years ago, Moira was responsible for bringing conjoined twins, Trishna and Krishna to Melbourne for the remarkable surgery that successfully separated them.
Just recently I oversaw the renovation of a new house for Moira, her adopted family and the children she helps. It took around 18 months and there were lots of challenges along the way, however many people donated time, skills and resources and thanks to their kind hearts and hard work, the house was finished last September.
I’d especially like to thank Maria Conlan from Programmed Maintenance Services who was instrumental in completing the project and the 20 plus sub contractors she appointed.
It very quickly became evident however that because of Moira’s generosity and her calling to help children needing medical attention, the house needed to be larger still. Maria suggested attaching a granny flat to the house and an amazing fundraising effort by the local Lions Club and others followed.
The funds were raised and thanks to everyone’s efforts, it took only four months to gain the permit and build the extension. Moira now has a comfortable, six-bedroom house, with two kitchens, bathrooms with disabled facilities, well fitted out living areas and laundry, etc. for herself and the children in her care. It was a huge, collaborative journey and I thank everyone who helped us along the way.