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Marilyn Ann Darling AC (born 1943) is an Australian philanthropist and patron of the arts. With her husband, Gordon Darling, she instigated and has provided ongoing funding to the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, ACT and other not-for-profit and charitable organisations.


Following graduation, Darling worked as a microbiologist at the University of Melbourne from 1965 to 1968, and then as a postgraduate researcher at Monash University from 1973–1978. In 1979 she became president of the Victorian Children's Aid Society (VCAS) Auxiliary, them board member from 1984–1987.[1]

From 1984–1989 Darling was a trustee of the Victorian State Opera Foundation and from 1986–1891 a member of the executive committee of the Dame Joan Hammond Award. She also spent three years on the organising committee for the Spoleto Festival in 1988–1991.[1]

1985–1987 Darling was a member of the board of management of the Melbourne Lost Dogs Home. From 1987–1991 she was a member of the Music Foundation Appeal committee at the University of Melbourne's Trinity College.

In 1989 Darling became a member of the board of the Gordon Darling Australasian Print Fund at the National Gallery of Australia.

Darling was convenor patron of an exhibition, "Uncommon Australians: Towards an Australian Portrait Gallery", which travelled Australia 1992–1993.[2]

Honours and recognitionEdit

Darling was awarded the Centenary Medal on 1 January 2001 "for service to Australian society through the arts".[3]

In the 2009 Australia Day Honours, Darling was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for "service to the development, advancement and growth of visual arts in Australia and internationally, particularly through the National Portrait Gallery, and to the community through a range of philanthropic endeavours".[4]


Darling was born Marilyn Skinner in Brisbane, Queensland on 7 November 1943.[5][6] In October 1989 she married Leonard Gordon Darling (4 March 1921 — 31 August 2015).[7][8]


  1. ^ a b "Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia" (PDF). Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Uncommon Australians: The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  3. ^ "DARLING, Marilyn Ann". Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  4. ^ "DARLING, Marilyn Ann". Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  5. ^ "Darling, Marilyn Ann". Encyclopedia of Australian Science. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  6. ^ "Uncommon Australians: The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  7. ^ "Marilyn Darling AC, 2010". National Portrait Gallery collection. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  8. ^ Walker, Tony (2015-09-01). "L Gordon Darling, businessman and philanthropist, dead at 94". Financial Review. Retrieved 2018-08-04.