Kelly Howlett is originally from Heywood in western Victoria, but for more than two decades Port Hedland has been the beneficiary of her love of getting involved in the community and working to make things better.
Kelly is an environmental scientist, and in her public life she has successfully combined a passion for environmental issues with a drive to contribute to her local community.
She chairs the Care for Hedland Environmental Association, a group which she helped establish and which has driven much of the local environmental community work in recent years, including regular litter clean-up days and the award-winning and internationally recognised turtle monitoring program on local beaches.
Care for Hedland also runs the local operation for Containers for Change, which has collected about three million containers since launching in October 2020.
Gloria Jacob has worked with Kelly on numerous committees and projects over the years and describes her friend as a great communicator who is skilled at enlisting assistance and supporters to her causes.
“Kelly has great energy, and always brings a positive vibe to everything she does,” Gloria says.
It is not just environmental issues that have benefited from Kelly’s hard work and community spirit. She has been a big supporter of local sporting organisations, especially netball – as a player, umpire and coach – and Aussie rules footy as a supporter of the South Hedland Swans.
Kelly also had a long stint on the Town of Port Hedland council, including seven years as Mayor. Gloria says she was a real “community mayor” with a strong focus on the welfare of at-risk groups and minorities and a supporter of not-for-profit groups.
Currently, Kelly is Chief Executive Officer of Bloodwood Tree Association, an Aboriginal-controlled not-for-profit organisation that assists the vulnerable and disadvantaged in Hedland.
Gloria credits Kelly’s leadership skills and hard work for revamping the organisation and providing it with new direction.
On top of these local positions, Kelly holds key roles in government agencies as a board member of the WA Country Health Service, which oversees health services across all regional and rural parts of Western Australia, and the WA Waste Authority, which guides policies on waste management across the State.
It's an impressive list, and a diverse one. As Gloria says, Kelly is not one to be defined by just one role.
Kelly Howlett has left a mark on the Hedland community in many ways and her network of influence continues to expand.
We salute you Kelly as a long-serving Local Leader!