Jean Garling

Jean Garling, image courtesy State Library of NSW.

Jean Garling, image courtesy State Library of NSW.


Jean Garling was born at Gilgandra in 1907. Her first professional appointment was as Resident Masseuse at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Garling served as a physiotherapist with the rank of Lieutenant in the Australian Army Medical Women’s Service in Darwin, 1941-1942. After her tour of duty she worked variously at the Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, and at Sydney Hospital. Her love of the performing arts, nurtured throughout her youth, had been demonstrated when she danced in a number of concerts for the troops. In 1947 she was the Universal Service Group entrant in the Miss Australia competition, organised to raise funds for war veterans. Garling was a presence behind the scenes as well as on the stage in a number of dance and theatrical productions in Sydney. She worked as a backstage manager for the Sydney Eisteddfod, including service on its state-wide tours, and later in the same role for Musica Viva. In 1947 she starred in her own scripted play ‘The Jokers’, produced by the Mercury Players. She published Australian Notes on the Ballet in 1950, a comprehensive history of ballet in Australia from 1800 to the inaugural performance of John Antill’s Corroboree. She was Ballet and Theatre critic for the magazine Tempo and Television, 1951-1960. Garling was an important benefactor to the State Library of NSW.

Jean Garling will be dressed by CAMILLA AND MARC for History Week 2012. Camilla and Marc’s signature look of luxe fabrications, clean tailoring and modern silhouettes is the result of a collaboration between brother-sister team Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman. Since its debut at Australian Fashion Week in 2003, Camilla and Marc has been a runway regular and has grown from one of Australia’s most exciting young labels into an international favourite.

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In partnership with Vogue Australia.


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