The Mietta Foundation was established to perpetuate the work and memory of Mietta O’Donnell and to celebrate her life by enhancing the spirit and energy of cultural life in this country. In addition to supporting the Mietta Song Competition Award as a major project, the Mietta Foundation established a series of forums and conversations about food, books, the arts and social engagement issues including diplomacy, culture, economics and the environment.
Mietta O’Donnell (1951-2001) had a profound impact on almost every aspect of Melbourne’s life. Indeed, she was a knitter of the fabric of Melbourne and a catalyst for much that has made Melbourne what it is today. Mietta inspired people and ideas, not only about food, but also about the physical fabric and vibrancy of our city and its culture – from town planning policies and practices, to opera and cabaret and to literature and politics. Mietta was a profoundly influential figure in the arts and cultural world. From the stage of her celebrated and iconic restaurant, Mietta’s, which she and her partner Tony Knox established and ran in Fitzroy and then in Alfred Place, Melbourne, Mietta orchestrated a salon where an astonishing range of art forms was performed - from comedy to art song, poetry to play readings, with music ranging from jazz to opera alongside forums for social and political issues. Her support for the arts and artists was recognised with a Green Room Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Performing Arts in Melbourne.