Born: Established: 1 Feb 1936 Melbourne ; Died: 14 Feb 1997 Canberra
A novelist, short-story writer and poet, Eldridge was a founding member of Canberra's literary scene. She belonged to the Seven Writers group which included novelists Dorothy Johnston and Sara Dowse and helped set up the ACT Writers' Centre. Eldridge was also a book reviewer for the Canberra Times and the Australian Book Review, and became the first literature co-ordinator for the ACT Arts Council in 1986. She was writer-in-residence at Darwin High School in 1989, received an ACT Arts Bureau Literary Fellowship in 1992 and an Australia Council Literary Board Grant 1994.
'Marian Eldridge was also instrumental in establishing the ACT Writers Centre and in the last few months of her life she expressed a desire to further nurture writers. Through a cash donation from her estate, the Marian Eldridge Award was established in 1998, under the auspices of the National Foundation for Australian Women, to encourage an aspiring woman writer to undertake a literary activity such as a short course of study, or to complete a project, or attend a writers' week or a conference.' However, in 2009, dwindling funds, administrative issues and lack of sponsorship made it impossible for the Eldridge family to continue with the award. The 2009 and final $2000 Marian Eldridge Award was won by Melbourne book buyer and writer Jewelene Barrile for an extract from her unpublished novel 'Find Me'.
Eldridge Crescent is named after Marian Eldridge in the Canberra suburb of Garran, where she lived and wrote for 30 years.
(Source: The Australian Womens' Register website and The Canberra Times, 9/11/2009)