Born Marlene Herbert in Gunnedah to parents Cecil and Esme, and brothers Warwick and Mark. Marlene studied to be a teacher, receiving a Bachelor of Arts She received a Commonwealth Scholarship in 1960. resulting in teaching at St. Mary's College, Gunnedah where she was held in high regard. She was then awarded a teaching scholarship to the University of Minnesota in 1978 (and a PhD), and a Thurston Scholarship in Foundations of Education in 1981. She taught in both the United States and in New South Wales, and was also a research consultant. She married Ian Goldsmith, with whom she had a daughter. She was also a branch president of the Liberal Party.
In 1988, Marlene Goldsmith was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council as a Liberal member. She held her seat until her retirement in 1999. She died from cancer on 13 April 2000. A Requiem mass was held for her at St Canice's Church in Elizabeth Bay on 19 April 2000.
- "The Hon. Dr Marlene Mary Herbert Goldsmith (1942–2000)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
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Michael L'Estrange AO
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