Patricia May Edgar AM (born 11 March 1937) is an Australian author, television producer, educator and media scholar best known as the founding director of the Australian Children's Television Foundation.
She was born in 1937 in Mildura, Victoria, and moved to California in the 1960s with her husband (author and social researcher DR. Don Edgar) and two children to study at Stanford University. On their return to Australia, Edgar joined the staff of La Trobe University, where she also completed a PhD.
In 1975, Gough Whitlam's government appointed Edgar to Australian Broadcasting Control Board where she was instrumental in formulating codes for children's television for the first time. She took part in the establishment of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal's Program Standards for children's television, and was founding director of the Australian Children's Television Foundation (ACTF). Over twenty-years, the ACTF won multiple awards including an Emmy, and made co-productions with the BBC, Disney and Revcom. She was executive producer for the 1988 Bicentenary ACTF project Touch the Sun.
Her books about television and the media include Children and Screen Violence, Under Five in Australia, Media She (with Hilary McPhee), The Politics of the Press and recently a memoir Bloodbath: A Memoir of Australian Television which prompted Phillip Adams to write "I would regard Patricia Edgar as a sort of human tank. Patricia is a sort of Centurion in her abilities to kick down doors and push walls over. She is annoying, irritating, relentless, drives people mad, but she gets things done"
She was awarded the Australian Film Institute Longford Life Achievement Award in 2002, and the Dromkeen Medal in 2007, for her role in advancing children's literature.
Edgar lives in Melbourne with her husband Don, near her two daughters and four grandchildren. She is chair of the World Summit on Media for Children Foundation. A breast cancer victim, she also chairs the Breast Cancer Network of Australia.
- Under Five in Australia Heinemann, Melbourne 1973 ISBN 0-85561-030-1
- Media She (with Hilary McPhee) Heinemann, Melbourne 1974 ISBN 0-85561-034-4
- Families Without Television (with Ray Crooke) Centre for the Study of Educational Communication and Media, La Trobe :University, 1976 ISBN 0-85816-093-5
- Children and Screen Violence University of Queensland Press, 1977 ISBN 0-7022-1403-5
- The politics of the press Sun Books, Melbourne 1979 ISBN 0-7251-0338-8
- The News In Focus : the journalism of exception Macmillan, Melbourne 1980. ISBN 0-333-29930-2
- Television Licence Hearings Go Public : a case study Centre for the Study of Educational Communication and Media, La Trobe University, 1981 ISBN 0-85816-282-2
- Children and Television : policy implications Australian Children's Television Foundation, Vic. 1983. ISBN 0-86421-000-0
- Children's Television, the case for regulation Australian Children's Television Foundation, North Melbourne 1984 ISBN 0-86421-048-5
- Janet Holmes à Court HarperCollins 2000 ISBN 0732257158
- Bloodbath: A Memoir of Australian Television Melbourne University Press 2006 ISBN 978-0-522-85281-3
- The New Child : in search of smarter grown-ups (with Don Edgar) Wilkinson Publishing, Melbourne 2008 ISBN 978-1-921332-41-8