Mary Lou Jelbart

For more than 35 years, Mary Lou made an outstanding contribution to the visual and performing arts in Victoria.

Honour Roll

Mary Lou was a former broadcaster on ABC Radio National, who for more than two decades presented visual and performing arts programs throughout Australia and overseas.

During her time as a St Kilda City Councillor, she founded the St Kilda Festival in 1979, and Australia's first and leading short film festival, the St Kilda Short Film Festival in 1984.

In 2002, together with Julian Burnside QC, Mary Lou founded fortyfivedownstairs, a not-for-profit organisation at 45 Flinders Lane Melbourne. fortyfivedownstairs is an art gallery and theatre performance space, providing an affordable and accessible space for independent theatre producers and visual artists.

Mary Lou has been the Artistic Director of fortyfivedownstairs in an unpaid capacity since 2002. She has supported a variety of exhibiting and performing artists including actors, playwrights and directors who have gone on to achieve local and international acclaim, and enabled the presentation of 380 gallery exhibitions, 200 theatre productions, 120 music concerts, 70 play readings and 60 forums.

Mary Lou's unwavering support for emerging Australian talent and innovation has resulted in an outstanding contribution to Melbourne's reputation as a leading arts and culture centre.