Multi award-winning scribe Steve Kealy has lived in 10 countries on three continents and can order beer in nine languages
Being born in Libya is a bit of a conversation-stopper nowadays. As is having lived in Yemen. So says the self-described army brat, who now calls Melbourne home. As a volunteer fire-fighting veteran of some of the last decade’s bigger conflagrations and recipient of Australia’s National Emergency Medal, Steve Kealy is no longer amazed at the multitudes of car drivers clearly blind to bright red trucks with twinkly lights and loud sirens.
He’s worked in mines, nuclear power stations, banks, the army, newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV, providing the voice for programs seen in more than 35 countries, translated into several languages, and used as a TEFL teaching aid in Vietnam.
The Exeter University MBA holder last year published Such is Life, his first book of short stories. More are on the way.
He’s ridden motorcycles since he was nine and living in Aden. In 2017, he and life-partner Liz rode their Adventure bikes nearly 40,000km (roughly the distance around the world) through 16 countries, on four continents. That trip is the subject of a forthcoming book which includes epic pictures … and some epic crashes.
Defying Apartheid laws and death threats, he and Liz started The Toy Run, which became the world’s largest motorcycle charity event, benefitting more than three million people by its 35th anniversary. Like Spike Milligan, he doesn’t expect a knighthood.
Steve has competed in 20 types of motorsport on two and four wheels with one international win, many crashes and two broken necks (though not at the same time). He says modestly that in the absence of any obvious talent, he has retired from racing.
For years his competition licence and his all-areas Media Pass had pictures of Desmo, the family dog and annoyingly, no-one noticed, perhaps proving that owners do look like their pets after all.
Steve also volunteers as a driving instructor to help Learner drivers build up hours behind the wheel before sitting their tests; if nothing else, his students know understeer from oversteer and can heel-and-toe.
He scuba-dives when it’s warm, skis when it’s not and in between flies a Jabiru, a small aircraft about the size of a shopping trolley. So far, he’s managed to stay airborne when he needs to be..