Old Carey Grammarian (2012)

'Everything is achievable if you put your mind to it. You need to be patient and know that you will face challenges along the way, but if you work hard you can fulfil your dreams.'

Paralympic swimmer Ahmed Kelly wants to show young athletes that with the right support, anything can be achieved if you follow your dreams, work hard and never give up. Having previously represented Australia at the London and Rio Paralympics, Ahmed is also preparing for the Tokyo Paralympics.

Ahmed is also studying for a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in journalism. He is using these skills to assist his mum, humanitarian worker Moira Kelly, to promote the work of the Moira Kelly Creating Hope Foundation. The foundation brings sick children around the world to Australia to ensure they receive sufficient medical care when local doctors are unable to treat them. Moira's foundation also assists displaced women from Australia and overseas.

Ahmed spent time as a child living in an orphanage in Baghdad, Iraq, with his brother, Emmanuel. Both were exposed to chemical weapons and born with severely underdeveloped limbs. In 1998, Ahmed and Emmanuel met Moira, who took them to Australia to receive medical treatment.

Inspired by his mum’s work, Ahmed is driven to give back and help others. Seeing what she’s achieved and how she’s changed people’s lives means he never takes anything for granted.

Elite sport is very challenging, but Ahmed’s mindset and commitment allow him to excel. He is a role model to young athletes and hopes that his story will inspire others to believe that anything is possible with a bit of patience, effort and self-belief.