Our new member Kaye Kilsby has hardly joined us before she’s making herself scarce until September. That’s because she’s jumping into her Hilux 4WD motor home and heading into SA, WA, up the west coast, across the top to Western Qld and home. All COVID permitting – but if she’s locked out of any border she’ll just gun the engine and enjoy more time in that State.
She bought the motor home when she sold her Richmond home two years ago, and went up the east coast for six months to western Qld. She’s not like homeless film star Frances McDairmid in “Nomadland” (now showing) because she’s also got a pad in Docklands. “That film showed motor home people as a sad lot, but I just love being on the road, meeting fab people and seeing fab places in the outback like Innamincka and Campbell’s Corner,” she says. “Just since lockdown ended I’ve been round Victoria, seeing the Stick Shed grain storehouse in Murtoa and the Spanner Man in Boort.” 
She cooks up stuff in her microwave and one-ring burner. “One night in Carnarvon Gorge, I even roasted tasty lamb shanks over an open fire. It was a real art to get the heat right.”
She gets on with everyone. “At Wonga Beach in North Queensland I had just chatted to a lady for ten minutes and she offered to lend me her car to get my groceries.”
She pulled in to Burke and Wills Roadhouse, 226 kms south of Normanton in north Queensland, and found the little place had a big rodeo on. “I sat in the grandstand talking with a lady whose son was riding bulls.”
She’s a motor sports and rally enthusiast and even raced her own Triumph TR6 at Calder and Sandown. She rolled it and wrote it off at Phillip Island’s track 20 years ago. “And you got out OK?” we asked. “No, I broke seven ribs. It hurt like hell.”
Thereafter she preferred co-driving and navigating in rallies – although sometimes big trees moved into the way. Ten years ago she switched to working as an official on tracks. “We’re now planning to re-stage the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon Rally in October,” she says. “But we’ll just do the Perth – Sydney leg.”
 Her career was in retail, followed by managing a department at Swinburne TAFE and lecturing in retail and marketing. 
Her father is Wing Commander Bill Kilsby, now 96, and a long-time mate of our guest speaker Air Vice Marshall Alan Reed. Bill flew not just Canberra bombers but even the huge British Valiants. 
She’s gone one better than our Antarctic overnight trip – she did the real thing by ship from South America 15 years ago. Among the other 56 passengers was Bob Hawke and partner Blanche, who celebrated her 60th birthday on the boat. “They were great company for us,” she says.
She also pricked up her ears learning our club nearly did a gliding experience (stopped by insurance concerns). She’s already been up gliding at Benalla (near the Winton race track) – to pass the time while waiting for a race event.
Kaye, by the way, had $72 worth of luck with the Melbourne Star Wheel in Docklands. Her Dock 5 apartment looks out on the Wheel and she loved seeing it light up each evening. Then when COVID hit it went dark for four nights. She was so thrilled to then see it light up again that she emailed the boss to congratulate her. Next thing Kaye received two free tickets!
As you’ve gathered by now, Kaye is not one for passive entertainment. As soon as she’s back with our club in September, we can hit her with jobs, she says.