Liz Jones AO

Liz Jones has contributed to developing a distinctive Australian dramatic voice through her association with La Mama as an actress and as a director.

Honour Roll

Born in 1946, Liz Jones graduated from the Australian National University in 1966 and although passionate about theatre, began a teaching career that included a period as a volunteer graduate in Indonesia.

In 1972 Liz met Betty Burstall, the founder of Melbourne's experimental La Mama theatre. After a trip to England where her enthusiasm for theatre was rekindled, she returned to Melbourne and began working as a performer and staff member at La Mama in 1973. In that year Liz also started working with Lloyd Jones who she later married.

Liz Jones has steered La Mama since 1976 and for the past 20 years Liz has been both the Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer. Liz Jones has a deeply felt belief in its basic philosophy and is committed to defend, support and nurture those artists willing to put their creative visions on the line.

Today La Mama is seen as symbolising the autonomy of Australian theatre; it was classified by the National Trust and it is the only theatre to be nominated solely for its cultural contribution. Liz Jones was a peer committee member on the Australian Council for the Arts for three years, she travelled in Europe, UK and the USA on a Churchill Fellowship to study the relationship between theatre and community. She was awarded the Kenneth Myer Medallion for the Performing Arts (1995) and received an honourary Doctorate in Laws from the Australian National University (1996), the Sidney Myer Facilitator's Award (2000) and the Green Room Lifetime Achievement Award (2001).

Liz Jones has unbounded energy and enthusiasm for her work. She is committed to exploring diversity in artistic approach and innovation in form. Through her chosen medium of theatre, she has explored the cultural and social concerns of both mainstream and minority Australian groups.