Marilyn was born in Bendigo in central Victoria in 1939 and grew up the nearby towns of Broadford and Seymour. She remembers her primary school years in Broadford in which the children would sit around a big fireplace and listen to the teacher. She also remembers learning folk dances with the aid of a radio program. She was an ambitious student at Seymour High School, competing with the boys to get the highest grades. She remembers her mother placing a high value on education for girls: ‘my mum’s mother, now she didn’t want her girls to be working in factories, she made them stay at school for as long as possible so I think my mother probably had that sort of attitude too’. She also remembers the introduction of Australian History, remembering that, after studying British History, ‘suddenly we’re hearing it, we’re realising that we do have history as well’. She notes that Seymour High School offered students lots of opportunities and she became particularly involved in the softball team and the choirs, recalling the excitement of the first operetta that was performed in the Seymour town hall. Marilyn was inspired by some of the women teachers, such as her music teacher, enabling her to realise ‘wow I can do anything’. She went on to study teaching in Melbourne on a scholarship and became an art teacher. Her first teaching position was at Colac and then Broadford. After completing the three years of service attached to her scholarship she went to Europe and later, Queensland.
Primary: Broadford, Victoria (1940s)
Secondary: Seymour High School, Victoria (1950s)
Tertiary: Melbourne Teachers College (1950s)
Tertiary: Caulfield Technical College, Melbourne, Victoria