Kieran Kelly (62) is an amateur historian, author and explorer originally from Wellington in western NSW who now lives and works in Sydney. He is also a keen outdoor sportsman, especially snow skiing and swimming.
Kieran is the leading authority on the explorer Augustus Gregory and is the author of the most recent works on this outstanding Australian – Hard Country Hard Men (2000) and Tanami: On foot across Australia’s desert heart (2002)
He has participated in six expeditions in Central and northern Australia either as leader or navigator including
• North Australian Expedition 1999
• Von Mueller’s Bivouac Expedition 2000 and
• Gregory’s Retreat Expedition 2001
In 2002 Kieran and colleague Andrew Harper made the first crossing on foot of the Tanami desert in central Australia linking the expeditions of Augustus Gregory and John Mcdouall Stuart. The modern expedition, known as the Central Australian Expedition 2002, was unsupported other than by five pack camels.
In 2005, he and Mosman’s Dr George Bennett, a retired Professor of Surveying at the University of NSW, rediscovered Mt Wilson which was climbed by Augustus Gregory in Western Australia in 1856 and laid it on the charts in its correct position for the first time.
Kieran came to swimming late in his teens after moving to Sydney and in June 2006 he captained a six man relay team from Sydney’s Balmoral Beach Club which made the first successful swim crossing of WA’s Lake Argyle.
In December 2006 he fulfilled a life long mountaineering ambition and climbed his first alpine peak, Mt Aspiring in New Zealand. In May 2007, Kieran and his friend, professional photographer, Andrew Gregory made the first successful kayak passage down the Negri and Ord Rivers and across Lake Argyle. The Australian Geographic sponsored trip, known as the Lost Crocs of the Ord River Expedition, documented for the first time the survival of Crocodylus Porosus (Saltwater Crocodiles) in the Ord River following the building of the Lake Argyle dam wall in the early 1907’s.
Kieran also came late to snow skiing taking his first run at Perisher Valley in New South Wales in 1974 at the age of 21. He subsequently skied for the next 40 years without incident until suffering a broken leg at Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada in January 2015. This was his first skiing accident. Prior to this he had skied in all sorts of terrain and conditions in many parts of the world including Thredbo, Falls Creek, and Mount Hotham in Australia and most mountains in New Zealand. He has also experienced Andorra, Chamonix, St Anton, Scheffau and the Dolomites in Europe and Copper Mountain, Aspen, Vale, Taos and Park City, Alta and Snowbird in the United States. Before venturing to Revelstoke, in 2015 he had skied numerous times at Whistler in Canada. He had also undertaken numerous heli-skiing trips to New Zealand and the trip to Revelstoke was the realisation of a long-held heli-skiing aspiration.
Kieran’s writing on exploration has been published in Outback and Australian Geographic magazines.
In 2004 he was honoured with a fellowship of the Explorer’s Club of New York and in 2007, along with Andrew Gregory, was awarded the Australian Geographic Society’s Spirit of Adventure Award for the Lost Crocs of the Ord Expedition.
He is an Investment Manager specialising in the sharemarket and runs his own company Sirius Fund Management. His last book “Aspiring. Mountain climbing is no cure for middle age,” was published in July 2008.
He lives by the ocean in Manly, Sydney Australia and is the proud father of 3 daughters