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For love not money: meet Kelly Ostwald

Kelly Ostwald ICPA, Ryan Williams NBN, Georgie Somerset AgForce, Kristen Coggan FED ICPA, Michael Guerin AgForce
Kelly Ostwald ICPA, Ryan Williams NBN, Georgie Somerset AgForce, Kristen Coggan FED ICPA, Michael Guerin AgForce

There’s no doubt some people do what they do for the pure love of it, for the drive they have to make a difference to something or someone – not for the potential financial rewards they stand to earn.

One of those people is AgForce SEQ Council Member Kelly Ostwald. 

Kelly lives west of Texas with her husband Dan. Together they run a family cropping and cattle operation. Kelly and Dan have five children, one still in school, the rest leading their young lives around the country. 

Perhaps it was from this hectic background (for who would dare say raising five children wasn’t busy?) that Kelly’s passion to get involved with so many causes was born.

Apart from being on the AgForce SEQ Council, Kelly holds a Bachelor of Nursing and is currently completing a Diploma of Business in Governance. She has also held many roles within her local community in Texas. 

Perhaps most notably, Kelly is the State Secretary for the Queensland branch of the Isolated Children’s Parents Association (ICPA), a voluntary, non-profit, apolitical organisation dedicated to ensuring all rural and remote students have access to ongoing education.

“I joined AgForce’s SEQ Council in 2019 because I’m passionate about all things rural,” Kelly said.

“AgForce and ICPA have a lot in common, too. Particularly when it comes to levelling the playing field for the standard of services those in the city and rural communities enjoy.

“ICPA might be small in numbers, but they are a highly effective, well respected lobby group who, like AgForce, believe providing services for the bush – in this case education for children – should be at the same level of access and standard of quality available to those in major cities and towns.

“ICPA and AgForce have been meeting at least twice a year to discuss issues that affect the education of rural and remote students in Queensland.

“Issues like the drought supplement for Living Away from Home Allowance recipients, internet connectivity for teacher housing, and student mental wellbeing.

“We’ve also been exploring the potential for engagement with teachers heading to rural areas, as well as having primary production included as a compulsory subject in the national curriculum.”

Kelly said she believed more people and organisations needed to take serious interest in agriculture, not only those directly involved with the industry. 

When you stop and think about it, her view makes sense.

After all, since COVID-19 stopped by to turn our world upside down, a lot of people who ordinarily wouldn’t have spared a thought for agriculture suddenly realised just how important it is.

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