A conversation I had today 1


Today I talked with a boy becoming a man. I didn’t know him before today. He had heard me speak and sent me a text message. His text message read, ‘Can we catch up? I want to talk about my future.’ And today was the day. As I sat across from him I asked, ‘How old are you?’  He tells me, ‘I’m 17 and next year is my last year in school’. The conversation was a little stilted. Where to from here? I ask, ‘What are your plans or ideas?’ 

He starts to talk. He’s not sure. He loves music. Plays an instrument really well. Sees that in his future but he also sees himself helping people. Giving joy and inspiration to people. Maybe traveling to the developing world. Sharing his gift. The words came and I listened. It was as if our conversation just gave him the opportunity to commit himself. To say out loud what he held in his heart.

A lifeline of accountability that he could hold onto when the waves of self-promotion or self-interest started to blow. I felt teary and privileged to be part of this conversation. The conversation with a boy becoming a man of dreams and compassion.


About Kelley

Kelley is a speaker, author, overseas aid worker and perpetual student. She is passionate about women and gender issues, both in the local and international context, which underpins her enthusiasm for kinwomen and its contribution to women ‘living their finest life’. In 2014 Kelley completed a Masters in International and Community Development before establishing The Foxglove Project. Foxglove is a registered charity focused on supporting international development projects that are sustainable and driven by indigenous leadership. Kelley’s paid work requires her to travel extensively to evaluate and support projects supported by Australian funds. This experience and networking enables Foxglove to partner with outstanding overseas agencies delivering real opportunities for the poor and vulnerable to lead independent self-determined lives. Kelley combines these passions with a love of family and faith. Across more than 30 years of marriage, Kelley and her husband have worked through many of the challenges of building a relationship while raising three sons. Their boys have now finished high school changing the dynamics of family life and relationships. One of her great joys is sharing parenting lessons and learning from good and bad (sometimes disastrous) experiences. She uses humour and common sense to talk about the everyday challenges facing parents in today’s context.

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