Samantha Kelly (1968-2007)

July 20, 2007

The peace movement lost a dedicated activist last week. Samantha Kelly, one of a team of radio presenters for NoWar SA, died in Adelaide at the age of 39.

Samantha began her involvement with NoWar SA prior to the invasion of Iraq and she helped run the NoWar office during the busy period immediately before the invasion. Samantha was a skilled audio-visual technician and frequently recorded speeches and other events organised by NoWar and other organisations, both in Adelaide and interstate. She also for a time was NoWar's webmaster as she loved building websites.

She was passionate about politics, particularly peace, human rights and refugee rights. Not only did she become involved in activism in groups associated with these issues, but she generously volunteered her time helping people in practical ways through Families SA.

Samantha had a degree in social sciences and a diploma in journalism. She had a strong and long-standing passion for alternative media, particularly radio. Sam had been a presenter and vice-president of Fresh FM, and one of the key people driving the licence approval for that station. Sam had been working towards her certificate three in broadcasting with Radio Adelaide.

Sam also had a strong interest in seeing informed debate on drugs policy and advocating drug policy reform. She recently completed a book on this topic.

Sam had a strong artistic side and had her paintings exhibited on numerous occasions including for the SA Living Artists. Her artwork often focused on her strong interest in matters spiritual.

Sam drew people to her and her home was a haven for friends who found it always warm and welcoming. Her death leaves a huge hole in their lives. She was a gentle, kind and loving person who had enormous compassion for other people and who put her considerable energies into changing things for the better. NoWar SA and A Peace of the Action radio program will miss her enormously.

Even though Sam's interests and activities were wide ranging, her closest friends have told us that they know that she would want to be best remembered as a good mother and a good friend. She is survived by her son Josh.

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