From politicians to unionists to business leaders and especially from the families of the Pike River Mine disaster victims in praising her passion and unwavering commitment to workers’ rights. From all over, Tributes to Helen Kelly have been pouring in from all the corners of the country. She was the former president of the Council of Trade Unions and dedicated all her life to fight for the workers and their rights. She left us at the age of 52. Helen Kelly died of lung cancer. Helen Kelly had an inspirational story in her life. A story which can inspire you for something big.
Helen Kelly started her working life as a teacher but she quickly became immersed in union affairs and her first union official job was in 1990 and she continued to fight for workers until the end. Ms Kelly fought tirelessly for issues like Workplace health and safety. She pushed hard to regulate, unionize and improve safety, particularly in the forestry industry.
In 2007, Helen Kelly became the first female president of the Council of Trade Unions and continued her job for a period of eight years until she was diagnosed with lung cancer and her attempt to manage the pain which included a broken back caused by tumours led to her next campaign, as she battled to get medicinal cannabis legalised.
According to Pike River widow Anna Osborne, Kelly is her inspiration and she’s going to fight for her.
Helen Kelly even in her final days had never lost her empathy for others.
“The one thing that Helen wants from everybody is to never give up the fight, fight for what you believe in. That’s one of the last things she said to us, and she was sad that she wasn’t going to be there to see us through to getting some justice and accountability,”