Mary Delahunty gained a Bachelor of Arts from Latrobe University. She worked as a journalist for the ABC and Network 10 from 1975 to 1996. Delahunty was elected to the Victorian state parliament in 1998 and served variously as Minister for Education, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women's Affairs and Minister for Planning between 1999 and 2006.
In 2011, Delahunty was appointed the inaugural national director of Writing Australia (q.v.).