This uniform belongs to Jean Garling, who served during the Second World War.
Garling had a significant role throughout her life in the performing arts, both as a trained ballet dancer and as a writer. Her definitive book, “Australian Notes on the Ballet”, as well as reviews as a dance and theatre critic, were widely read.
A descendant of an early colonial family, Jean Garling was also a great philanthropist with a love of history. A member of both the Women’s Pioneer Society of Australasia and the Royal Australian Historical Society, she was also a founder of the State Library of NSW’s Library Society and the Governor Benefactor of The Library Foundation, eventually bequeathing her estate to the State Library upon her death in 1998.
This uniform brings out another part of Jean Garling’s life during the Second World War. After training as a physiotherapist, she enlisted in the Australian Army Medical Women’s Service (AAWMS) where she continued her profession becoming a lieutenant. Her postings during the war included Darwin and Concord hospital. She must have cut a very elegant figure in her tailored uniform from Chorley and Company, Sydney.