By Ruby Dolso
My name is Ruby Kelly Dolso, and my Grandfather, Geoffrey Kelly, is a Vietnam Veteran. He has been the most influential man in my life and has taught me so many valuable lessons that I try to implement daily. Since I was a child, he has taught me that strength comes in many different forms, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Any time I speak to him about an incident I’ve had in my life he always responds with, ’Life is 10% circumstance and 90% how you deal with it‘, and honestly, this saying has helped me in countless situations.
I was raised by a single mother, so my Pa was the only male role model I’ve ever had, and I am not one bit sad about it. He was so supportive of me through the entirety of my schooling years, and even now through university. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) full time at Griffith University and have received many academic awards thanks to my family’s support.
Every ANZAC day we march together with my family, and every year I become even prouder. My Pa has created such a strong family and every single member of the ‘Kelly Gang’ is immensely proud to have him as a role model, father, grandfather and even great-grandfather.
Ever since I was very young, I wanted a Jeep Wrangler. As much as everyone warned me that this car was unsuitable for a first car, not very fuel efficient and very likely to break, Pa stood in my corner. I was not in a financial position to buy a car at all, so he stepped in and paid for my first car with the condition I try my absolute hardest in school. To the disbelief of my friends and family, my car is still running, and I love it very much.
Pa has taken me all over Australia, and I have gained an incredible amount of insight into all walks of life. Travelling from Outback Australia, all the way to big cities has exposed me to this beautiful land that my Pa fought so hard to defend. I thank all serving and returned men and women for their sacrifice. We owe our freedom to them.
When I graduate in 2022, I will complete my Practical Legal Training and then hopefully move to Canberra and participate in the Australian Secret Intelligence Service Graduate Program, ACTIVATE. Ultimately, I wish to work in the counterterrorism field as I am immensely passionate about this career path.
My Pa told me about the Long Tan Bursary and urged me to apply. I am so grateful that he did. I am immensely appreciative to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and AVCAT. Their generosityhas quite honestly changed my life. The Long Tan Bursary allows me to fully focus on my studies and contribute financially to my family. I urge everyone who is eligible to apply; it truly opens many doors. It allows me to live life to the fullest.
Ruby was awarded the Long Tan Bursary in 2020.