Van Badham's most successful play was set in Wollongong - but many theatregoers thought the city existed only in her imagination.
The play, Kitchen, is set in North Wollongong and has been performed in Europe and the United States, with many who have seen the show thinking the city was not real.
"People did think I'd made up the name," Ms Badham admits.
"They thought it was like Cloud Cuckoo Land from The Birds by Aristophanes. They thought it was some kind of literary confection and I was like, 'No, it's my home'."
While the internationally renowned playwright grew up in several places as a child, Wollongong was where she chose to live when she turned 18.
"It's my home - I've lived in Wollongong for such a long time," she said.
"My career has taken me all around the world but Wollongong is really where my heart is. It's where I plan to retire, it's where I dream about at night-time."
It's also where she chose to hold the world premiere of her latest play, The Bull, The Moon and the Coronet of Stars.
A modern-day reworking of a Greek myth, the play is produced by the Merrigong Theatre Company.
Ms Badham developed her talents in Wollongong, with the help of various places that helped her writing or staged her plays - the University of Wollongong, Theatre South, Merrigong, South Coast Writers Centre, Wollongong Youth Centre and Dapto Neighbourhood Centre among others.
To her, the city helped to create her as a playwright so it's only fair that she repay the favour and fly the Wollongong flag whenever she can.