"With all the moxie of an RSL barmaid and the library card of a research fellow, Nelly Thomas has emerged to talk about nothing slighter than the trials of her generation... She's erudite, earthy and entirely unemployable." Helen Razer, The Age Newspaper
Nelly started out in comedy in 2002 after a number of years working in the welfare and education sectors. She fell into comedy accidentally after stumbling across the Jeez Louise Funny Women's Forum via a friend, where she was spotted by a talent agent and booked for a gig. A few months later she entered the Triple J Raw Comedy Competition and beat over 800 aspiring hopefuls from around Australia to win the National Grandfinal. Less than six months after never having thought of being a comedian - and at the ripe old age of 28 - Nelly found herself doing a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
She's been on stage ever since.
Nelly has been performing at comedy clubs, festivals, pubs and corporate events for fifteen years. In that time, she's toured Australia several times, done a number stints overseas, established her own Melbourne comedy room and played hundreds of gigs and festivals. She is renowned MC and speaker and is known for the respectful and intelligent humour she brings to all topics.
In addition to her own shows, Nelly has also directed some award-winning comedians - including Maria Bamford (right), Candy B and Stella Young - and produced shows for the likes of Rod Quantock and Andrea Powell (aka Ethel Chop).
Nelly is a published author of one book, the proud creator of one DVD and is currently working on two children's books. She is a regular guest on ABC Radio, pops up on the telly and writes extensively in the print and online media. She is currently a columnist for New Matilda.
In addition, Nelly has forged a career different to most, having found a specialist niche in health promotion and social change comedy. In 2016, she was announced as the Official Ambassador for Jean Hailes for Women's Health - Australia's leading women's health organisation. She accepted this role with great pride.
Prior to becoming a comedian, Nelly worked in the education and welfare sectors and now relishes the opportunity to combine her passion for social justice and health promotion with humour.
She has written highly successful and lauded comedy shows on topics as varied as adolescent sexual health (The Condom Dialogues), respectful relationships (No Means No Show - see right), Indigenous smoking (No Smokes, No Joke) and mental health (Mentally Funny) and is regularly asked to speak and MC at events about subjects as difficult and varied as such as Family Violence, Child Protection, Gender Equity and the like. She is particularly known for her expert MCing skills in these areas which require great sensitivity as well as time and people management.
As Nelly's Testimonials show, her clients find that her wealth of experience on stage, combined with her respectful but irreverent tone, make conferences and events more enjoyable and professional for all concerned.