Val was born in Perth, WA. but became a Melbournian at an early age, having traversed the two thousand miles across the Nullabour in the family car, quite a feat in 1950.
During her education at Westleigh College, Val showed some singing and histrionic ability, so it was agreed she would attend the National Theatre Drama School. Though her stint there was short lived, because of a relocation of the school, it served to whet her appetite, and unearthed some raw talent.
At the age of 16 Val left Westleigh, and took up a scholarship, at RMIT studying Fine Arts. Here she spent far too much time at the theatre club, writing and performing in revues, and being romanced by a Duntroon graduate.
At the age of 19 years and one month she married the graduate and embarked on a world tour and the production of three children. During this time Val was generally the leading light, of the local, or military amateur dramatic society. At the age of 27 she was offered the opportunity of turning pro. She did. Husband number one didn’t approve and that is where he drops out of the story.