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Marilyn Darling AC

b. 1943

Marilyn Darling AC (b. 1943), a Founding Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, was Chair of the Board of the Gallery from 2000 to 2008. Under her leadership the Gallery grew from a small space in Old Parliament House to a significant Federal institution in its own building. Having studied science at the University of Queensland, she worked in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Melbourne in the late 1960s, and undertook postgraduate research in the Medical School of Monash University from 1973 to 1978. Soon her interests expanded to a variety of social and cultural concerns, including the Victorian Children's Aid Society and the Victorian State Opera Foundation. She married Gordon Darling in 1989, and soon the couple convened the exhibition Uncommon Australians: Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery, which toured nationally. It demonstrated the potential for the institution and proved to be the impetus for its foundation. Since the establishment of the Gallery in 1998 she has funded the acquisition of many diverse works for its collection. Marilyn Darling is the Deputy Chair of the Gordon Darling Foundation, Melbourne, and a member of the National Gallery of Australia's Gordon Darling Australia Pacific Print Fund.

Updated 2018