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Moira Kelly, mother of Trishna and Krishna, champions Global Gardens of Peace

"Just do it."

Moira Kelly's philosophy might sound familiar, but the humanitarian known for bringing Bangladeshi conjoined twins Trishna and Krishna to Australia for life-saving surgery in 2009, says she's been using the phrase for longer than Nike.

Now the motto is fuelling her latest cause: transforming 32,000 square metres of arid land in Gaza into a lush garden and she wants the Australian government to fund the project as a gift for Palestine.

The twins, now 7, live with Ms Kelly in her Melbourne home with her other adopted children brothers Ahmed, 23, and Emmanuel, 20, brought to Australia from Baghdad in 2000, Papa, 11, from Burma, and Mimosa, 16, from Albania.

Trishna is now at school but paperwork for Krishna to receive support for her special needs is still being finalised.

The twin's birth mother Lovely has been living with Ms Kelly for two years and the household grew again last year when her husband Katick arrived and the couple's son Matthew was born.


"Lovely helps with the other children… she cooks three nights a week, it's just like having two mums in the house," Ms Kelly said.

Although Ms Kelly has stepped back from her Children First Foundation to concentrate on caring for Krishna she still brings two or three children to Australia for medical treatment each year.

Currently she has her eyes set on a girl from Pakistan with feet oversized from elephantiasis and another from Gaza with a rare skin condition, both in urgent need of medical care.

Speaking after delivering the keynote address at a National Disability Insurance Scheme conference on Tuesday, Ms Kelly said the NDIS showed what a "lovely compassionate country" Australia had become in contrast to its treatment of refugees.

"Our politicians don't have all the answers, I could go on about the refugee stuff… but I think sometimes we have to think like a human first," she said.

Last year, she began lobbying Australian politicians for the Gaza garden after being inspired on an earlier visit when she saw a lush green cemetery of Australian, New Zealand and British war graves carefully looked after for 90 years.

"It was the most beautiful place in Gaza… and I just though isn't it amazing you can do this for the dead and not the living," she said.

Palestinian authorities have put land aside for Ms Kelly's garden dream and with support from the Royal Botanic Gardens the Global Gardens of Peace foundation was formed in 2013.

Other nations have offered support but Ms Kelly wants the $10 million project, including a small desalination plant, to be a gift from Australia with no strings attached.

"I like to think of things as practical… not all this paperwork," she said.

"When it's morally right do it, don't talk about it too much."

Ms Kelly believes greenspace is just as important for children and families as hospitals and roads.

"It's something that's non-political… you can't even say how many people you're going to help with that," she said.

"These kids need somewhere safe to play."

To find out more about the Global Gardens of Peace visit