Elly Varrenti has worked across the arts, media and education industries for the past twenty-five years.
Originally she trained as an actress and singer in the early-1980s (Grad Dip Acting National Theatre Drama School & University of Melbourne Conservatorium). She then went on to perform extensively with most of Melbourne’s major and independent theatre companies and for television, film and radio.
In the mid-1990s Elly moved into radio broadcasting (theatre/arts reviewing, social commentary and daily presenting) and has continued to work as a freelance broadcaster for both local ABC 774 Melbourne and ABC Radio National. She currently conducts a monthly talk-back segment on ABC Regional.
She is well known for her regular columns and personal essays on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters program.
Elly holds a Bachelor of Arts (Literature & Fine Arts), a Grad Dip of Education (English & Theatre Studies) from the University of Melbourne and a current Certificate 4 in Assessment & Training. She has taught extensively from primary through to the tertiary sectors.
In 2007 Elly was signed with Penguin Books after contributing a personal essay to an anthology called How We Met and Penguin published her memoir This Is Not My Beautiful Life in 2008.
As a freelance writer Elly contributes to The Age, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Mamamia, Hoopla, Daily Life, The Good Weekend& The Big issue. She is a regular education columnist for the AEU monthly magazine.
She was a theatre critic for The Melbourne Times 2007-2009 and for The Age 2011-2012. She currently contributes book reviews to The Age.
Elly taught and co-ordinated Professional Writing & Editing at Box Hill Institute from 2007-2013 where she specialised in Creative Non-Fiction, Arts Journalism and Short Story.
She taught Creative Non-Fiction at Deakin University in 2014 and Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne in 2015.
Elly is currently writing a collection of personal essays due for publication in 2016 and most recently had a short story published in a collection called Funny As with Affirm Press.
She is regular presenter, public speaker, interviewer and panellist on all-things arts and literary.