One of Nelly's passions is combining health promotion messages with comedy. She passionately believes that health promotion is best delivered in a well-researched and intelligent but entertaining and non-judgemental way.
With sensitivity, difficult topics can be addressed in plain language, with humour and without being preachy or boring.
Nelly offers live shows on a range of issues - from adolescent sexual health to mental health to women's health and Indigenous Health - and finds that these and other hard-to-talk-about issues can opened up when people feel comfortable and have a laugh.
"Because it is funny, everyone is more open." Audience Member, Female, Age 14 (from an Evaluation of Nelly's show The Condom Dialogues)
"These are overwhelmingly highly successful events... health promotion via Nelly's comedy is a very engaging and accessible format." Meg Gulbin, Manager, Health Promotion Unit, Royal Women's Hospital Melbourne
"I’ve had further excellent feedback from various people that attended the Respectful Relationships forum in Ballarat last week. Unanimous in praise for the great choice of MC.” Kate Souter | Respectful Relationships Liaison Officer | South West Victoria Region, Department of Education and Training
In the early stages of her career, Nelly focussed on young people - especially their sexual health - and has well over a decade's experience offering comedy health promotion shows in schools and other youth settings. These days she prefers to focus more on the adults who work and care for young people and adult health in general.
How did it all begin?
About 12 years ago Meg Gulbin (then the Health Promotion Officer at the Royal Women's Hospital) asked Nelly to help them with their sex education for teenage girls.
Meg said the young women they were trying to engage were bored and she wondered if Nelly could make their sex education more fun. Nelly wrote a show called the Condom Dialogues which went on to your for over a decade.
Since then, Nelly has combined her comedic and communication skills with robust research and partnerships with health experts to develop a suite of funny health promotion shows as well as a health promotion DVD.
When done right, humour is an effective, guilt-free and entertaining way to talk about health and wellbeing.
Some of Nelly's Health shows: