Marilyn Wilson Biography
Marilyn Wilson had an unusual colonial upbringing, born in 1929,in Batavia in the then Dutch East Indies (modern day Jakarta, Indonesia) to a Dutch mother and an Australian tea broker/merchant father, Brian Wilson. From the age of five she was sent to boarding school at Methodist Ladies College in Perth, returning home only once a year to spend Christmas with her parents. Marilyn excelled academically and entered the University of Western Australia at the age of sixteen. By 1949 and still only nineteen years of age she had completed her studies, and headed to London with hopes of entering the publishing industry. From 1950 she was employed at Kiddicraft, in a role she described as Reseach Officer of Child Behaviour. She was employed at Kiddicraft until 1953, and a large part of her time there appears to have been devoted to researching and updating a new edition of Playtime in the First Five Years. She continued the development of her publishing skills by becoming an editor and children's story writer at Raphael Tuck & Sons from 1953 - 1955. Marilyn was also involved with the West London Methodist Mission and was married by Rev Donald Soper, in November 1955 to fellow West Australian, Brian Stacy, whom she had met at university.
Following the marriage Marilyn and Brian returned immediately to Australia settling in Sydney, and embarked upon a highly successful publishing career in a halcyon literary period with Angus & Robertson, the leading publisher of Australian literature in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. In this period she also authored the groundbreaking Australian Children's Dictionary which sold 100,000s of copies and saw numerous editions and reprints over the decades.
In the early 1980s, under the advice of Lord Soper, she left publishing and entered theological college to become one of the first cohort of women in Australia to be ordained in the Uniting Church, carving out a second career as a much-loved industrial chaplain operating a ministry within the workplaces of a number of large corporate and government entities.
Marilyn passed away November 2012 and is survived by her two sons Mark and Paul and 5 granddaughters.
With thanks to Paul Stacy, Marilyn's son for contributing he personal records and photographs.