Chelsea's run is no laughing matter

It’s been six years since Chelsea Hughes ran a 5km race, so preparation for this year’s City2Sea 5k event has meant training and lots of it. But anyone who works as a librarian by day and tries her hand as a stand-up comic by night is surely up for the challenge.     

Chelsea’s terrified at the idea of running the 5km on November 20, but excited that she is up to the challenge and that it will raise money and awareness for McAuley Community Services for Women.

An American, by birth and then a New Zealander and now an Australian by choice, Chelsea has thrown herself into lots of adventures since she arrived here with her husband and one daughter, Ruby in 2012. The couple have since had Annabel.

One of the big differences she has noticed about life in Australia, compared to America, is the focus on family violence.

“The US is so massive that family violence doesn’t really get talked about much in the media. Here it is treated as an important issue by the media which is good,” Chelsea said. “When I signed up with friends to do the run I found out you could raise money for an organisation at the same time. I looked at McAuley Community Services for Women and really liked the range of services that are provided for women affected by family violence.”

Chelsea is also recruiting some of her other friends who are participating in the event, under the guise of Health and Fitness Queens, to fundraise for McAuley Community Services for Women.

The safety of women has become a more salient issue for Chelsea since she began working in stand-up comedy in recent years. Most gigs are late at night and the women rely on each other for support and safety.

“It’s not just about looking after each other during performances, it’s when the shows end and it’s really late and you go out onto the streets, you become conscious of needing to watch out for each other,” Chelsea said. “I think it’s a bit similar with family violence, there’s a sense that we need to offer some support to the women affected, even if we will never meet them.”

If you would like to support Chelsea in her efforts to raise money for McAuley Community Services for Women please go to: