"Because it is funny, everyone is more open." Audience Member, Female, Age 14 (from an Evaluation of The Condom Dialogues)
"These are overwhelmbingly 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
In 2016, Nelly was announced as the Official Ambassador for Jean Hailes Women's Health - Australia's leading women's health organisation.. She accepted this role with great pride.
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 - mental health, weight management, sexual health, violence and even trauma - 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.
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.
NELLY REGULARLY SPEAKS ON:
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.
"Hi, Nelly. Just wanted to let you know that I’ve had really great feedback from comedy night. I met with the Residential Health teams last night, and they were brimming with praise from themselves and their residents... One of their key pieces of feedback was how much they appreciated that there were messages imbedded in the show that were helpful and relevant to their experience, but without feeling preachy or awkward. Whilst this would be great feedback just on its own, I think it’s really going to help us get people out to future health and wellbeing events – you’ve helped us create a buzz! Thanks again for another fantastic event!"
Ali Norton, M.Sc., Residential Education Coordinator, Health & Wellbeing, LaTrobe University Melbourne
"Nelly never fails to impress, she has a gift for translating complex health issues into common language... funny, engaging and irreverent."
Kiri Bear, Victorian Health Promotion Agency
"A pleasure to work with [and] respectful of the sensitive issues surrounding working with young people with a mental illness."
Maree Sidey, ORYGEN Youth Health