Lynda Gibson

Lynda Gibson was not only a leading light in comedy, but also had a passionate belief in supporting people and communities in need.

Honour Roll

Lynda Jane Wiseman Gibson - but almost universally known as Gibbo - was a comedy star. Her CV starts at Sydney's famous Nimrod Theatre in the 1970s. It moves to the Murray River Performing Group in the 80s and then blossoms into a huge diversity of theatre, stand up, television and film. From Let The Blood Run Free to The Natural Normans, from The Big Gig to Frontline and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Lynda Gibson's career charts the emergence of Melbourne as Australia's comedy capital.

But her contribution was far greater than the sum of her performances on stage and screen. Also known as 'The Benefit Queen', Lynda had a passionate belief in supporting people and communities in need. From Yooralla and the Victorian Women's Trust to East Timor and striking waterside workers, there were few community causes that she would not donate her time and talents towards.

Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2000, she threw her energy into founding and supporting OvCa - the National Ovarian Cancer Network. Despite her illness, she worked tirelessly to help raise funds for patient services, medical education and community awareness of a disease that claims more than one woman every 10 hours. Lynda, It's Not Nasty, her one-woman show about cancer, chemotherapy and wigs, was a hit at the 2001 Fringe Festival.

Two years later, her performance in Comedy Is Still Not Pretty, wearing nude suits with Judith Lucy and Denise Scott, won The Age Critics' Award at the 2003 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her extraordinary accomplishments were recognised through the creation of the annual Golden Gibbo Award, now presented each year at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The criteria for that award - Australasian, self produced, work which is original, adventurous and has a strong social political content - embodies much of what Lynda contributed to comedy and to our community.