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Nelly Thomas has been described as one of Australia’s most natural comedians. An award-winning performer, she was listed as one of Australia’s ‘most innovative thinkers’ in the Age’s The Zone and was featured on the ABC’s Big Ideas: The Smartest Stuff on TV, Radio and Online. 

Nelly is a regular guest on ABC Local Radio and Radio National and writes extensively in the print and online media, including as a columnist for New Matilda. 

She has published a memoir, What Women Want (Random House, 2012) and has just released her first children’s book Some Girls (Piccolo Nero, 2018). Some Girls is an early childhood book aimed at fulfilling one of Nelly’s life-long passions – instilling confidence in little girls through challenging gender and other stereotypes. An accompanying book for boys is due out in mid-2018.

Nelly has been a stand-up comedian for 16 years. She stumbled into comedy after winning the Triple J Raw Comedy competition in 2003. Since then she’s done all the things comedians normally do – toured Australia and overseas, established a Melbourne Comedy room and performed at hundreds of gigs and a couple of dozen festivals. She’s also directed shows by some incredible comedians including Maria Bamford, Candy Bowers and Stella Young.

But alongside her normal comedy work, Nelly has forged a specialist career in comedic health promotion and is highly sought after as a health promotion speaker and MC. It is here that she can combine her comedic and communication skills with her passion for health and well-being; as understood in a whole-of-society context. 

In 2016 Nelly was very proud to be named an Ambassador for Jean Hailes for Women’s Health – Australia’s leading women’s health organisation.

Nelly lives in Melbourne with her partner Lachlan, their two daughters, a grumpy poodle, a stupid labradoodle and one very resilient goldfish. She is a devotee of terrible reality television and was once an under-13s Girl’s BMX Champion.

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.