Katie’s Story

Katie Kelly OAM facing camera sitting on starting platform by open water pool

Katie Kelly OAM PLY is one of Australia’s most distinguished Para-triathletes. Born with profound hearing loss, specialists did not diagnose her full condition Usher syndrome until, at age 22, she started to lose her sight. Usher syndrome is a genetic condition causing hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa (vision loss).

Just weeks after she was diagnosed as legally blind in 2015, Katie made her international debut in Para-triathlon the International Triathlon Union. Together with her sighted guide, Olympic silver medallist Michellie Jones, Katie won a gold medal.

At age 40, she made her Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games, where Para-triathlon also made its debut, and won Australia’s first Paralympic medal in the sport. Katie continued her winning streak in 2017, taking first place in the women’s PTVI at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final.  Katie competed in her second Games at Tokyo 2020, with her guide Briarna Silk. She crossed the line in a gallant sixth place.

Katie is the Founder and Director of Sport Access Foundation, an Australian charity providing grants for young Australians living with a disability playing sport. Since 2017, more than 600 Australians have benefited, with $70,000 in grants awarded. Katie is also an Ambassador for the Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability (ASAPD), a National Sporting alliance representing the Deaf, Blind, Intellectual and Physical peak sporting bodies and an Industry Fellow with Griffith University’s Reimagining Disability Council.

Katie’s last seen memory is the Merewether Baths in Newcastle. She remembers the salt on her skin, the warmth of the sun on her back and the waves that would flow over into the pool which has been captured by artist Tracie Eaton.

Experience the immersive artwork soundscape:

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Tracie Eaton

Tracie Eaton is an internationally renowned artist based on the Gold Coast. Recognised by the Global Art Agency as one of the ‘Leading & Investable Contemporary Artists’ worldwide has led to high demand for Tracie’s art.

Tracie is often referred to as a ‘Celebrity Artist’ following her exclusive 3-year commission to create bespoke artwork for Oscar’s nominees & winners, with an impressive list of Hollywood a-listers, such as Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins and Charlize Theron owning her art.

Tracie’s painting style is unique with boundless creativity.  Her luxurious artworks are bold, textured with loose form & brush strokes, and has been described by curators as ‘passion-art’ – “everyone who sees it loves it”.

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Profile photo of Tracie Eaton looking at camera wearing a black outfit


Steve Newcomb sitting next to a piano
Steve Newcomb

Steve Newcomb is an Australian pianist in demand for his unique touch on the piano as well as his detailed composing and arranging style that explores a realm shared by jazz and new music.

Steve has written for a wide array of musical artists, from Ben Folds, Augie March, and The Panics in the pop world, to the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras in the classical world. He leads his own ensemble, the Steve Newcomb Orchestra, a chamber jazz project realising original works jazz trio with strings, winds, harp, and voice. The debut album “Caterpillar Chronicles” was released in 2013.

Steve has collaborated with Australian vocalist Katie Noonan as arranger and composer, including on the ARIA award-winning album First Seed Ripening (2011), the acclaimed circus cabaret LOVE SONG CIRCUS (2012), the albums Transmutant (2015), and With Love and Fury featuring the highly regarded Brodsky Quartet (2016).


Based in Brisbane, Steve is Senior Lecturer and Head of Jazz at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.