Guest speakers:

Kelsey Drabsch April 2022

One of Rotary’s latest speakers was 25 year old Canberra girl, Kelsey Drabsch. Kelsey’s story of grit, determination and willingness to take on new adventures was an inspiration to her audience.

Kelsey’s story begins with her entry into the world 12 weeks early and with numerous health problems. She has worked hard to overcome many of these and has learnt to press on regardless- not allowing them to hinder her ability to study, travel, do public speaking or to work in a variety of occupations. Kelsey attributes her tenacity to the difficulties she has had to overcome including bullying in high school. Kelsey says “my experience of being bullied set me up to where I am today. If I hadn’t learnt that it was okay to do so much alone and on my own, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have taken my own path. I wouldn’t have travelled the world, volunteered, gone on exchange, worked in events or stepped into the world of Agriculture.”

Kelsey has played a part in encouraging the work of Starlight Children’s Foundation who were a great help to her during her early years. She has been a speaker for the organisation and continues to advocate for their work with children.

Kelsey was a keen sportswoman during her high school years and created a program from an Audrey Fagan Youth Enrichment Grant called K.E.L.S (Kids Empowered Learning Sport), which was a soccer carnival at three local primary schools and her high school. Kelsey went on to University to complete a Double Degree in Event and Tourism Management and Sport Management. After attending a RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) program, Kelsey applied to be a mentor and is still in touch with her Rylarians today who she mentored.

Participating in a four-month exchange at University, in Canada gave Kelsey the opportunity to study and spectate sport in Canada and to work with iHeartRadio to organise one of their annual music concerts.

Kelsey is involved in sports and events photography, event management, and was working for the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) until COVID hit. Her adventures have now brought her to the Riverina. Kelsey completed several courses at TOCAL College Yanco which covered chainsaw operation, fencing, tractor work, biosecurity, motorbikes, chaserbins and other farm related subjects.  She is currently working for BFB doing whatever it takes!

“ I applied in late October, 2021 and got a call 2 days later to say they wanted me to work for them for harvest. It was the best thing I ever did. Being both a woman from the ‘city’ and having no practical experience was difficult finding a job but BFB didn’t hesitate in putting me on for harvest. In the first month with BFB, I learnt to windrow on Day 2, escort machinery, drive a chaserbin, load and unload trucks and silos, operate tractors and motherbins, operate a loader and it’s all thanks to BFB giving me a chance and a go. Harvest was an experience of a lifetime that I honestly loved every single minute of. I worked with the best crew and local contractors I could have asked for and I can’t wait for many more harvests and Temora is stuck with me for a little longer as I am 1 week into my fulltime job with BFB and I couldn’t be prouder to be the only fulltime woman working on the farms.”

Can’t wait to see what Kelsey will achieve next.