Quick Facts

Vision Impairment – Retinitis pigmentosa
How acquired
Genetic condition
Date of Birth
February 6, 1975
Macquarie, ACT
Marketing Manager
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia

Her parents and siblings, former PM Julia Gillard

Career Highlights

Completing the Port Macquarie Ironman

Greatest Moment

Working with Melbourne Storm in their 1999 NRL Grand Final win as the Membership Manager


Katie has had a whirlwind career to date that has evolved from working in the Sports consumer services industry for over 20 years to now finding herself competing on the sporting field as an elite Paratriathlete.

Residing in Canberra, Katie trains under Australian Paratriathlon Head Coach Corey Bacon. Her weekly training regime consists of at least two sessions a day of running, swimming or riding, as well as strength and conditioning and recovery work all the while working as a marketing consultant and establishing her Foundation, Sport Access.

Katie’s background has included working for various sports organisations and this experience has also contributed to her drive to be the best Paratriathlete she can be. Having worked for the National Rugby League, ANZ Stadium and Tabcorp, she says one of her greatest career moments was while working for the Melbourne Storm. She recalls the energy and enthusiasm of the members, players, coaching staff and management team who all worked together to ensure the Club could win its first ever NRL Grand Final in 1999.

Katie has also completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at Griffith University and a Masters of Business, Major in Marketing at the University of Technology of Sydney. One of her greatest role models is the late Stella Young for the work she did in breaking down misconceptions about people with disabilities, and Katie is now using her own experience in the corporate world to advocate for and improve the lives of people with a disability.

Having competed as an able-bodied triathlete and marathon runner, Katie Kelly turned her disability into an opportunity to compete at a Paralympic Games when in 2015 her sight had deteriorated to a legally blind status.

Born with a rare deaf and blind degenerative condition called Usher Syndrome, Katie’s hearing loss began when she was five but her vision did not start regressing until her mid-twenties. Not one to let her disability get in the way of her passions, Katie has run major marathon events and ocean swims around the world including the Port Macquarie Ironman, Alice Springs Marathon as well as the New York Marathon.

After contacting Triathlon Australia to let them know of her vision impairment, she almost immediately made a name for herself in Paratriathlon circles. She made her debut for Australia at the ITU World Paratriathlon Event on the Sunshine Coast in March 2015, where she won gold in the PT5 class and posted a time considered to be in the top five of the world.

Katie has been working hard to give herself a competitive advantage as she attempts to reach her goal of qualifying for Rio.. She has enlisted Australian Olympic silver medallist and two-time world champion Michellie Jones to be her guide. Despite Michellie living in the USA, Katie is looking forward to training with her and most of all, learning from her wealth of experience.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Triathlon Disciplines: Women - PT5 Classification: PT5W-B3