Mavis Dowling, along with her sister Dorothea (q.v.), was educated in Sydney. Both were members of the Imperial Society of Dancing (Classical Ballet); and they represented Australia in London at the Festival for Ballet Congress. Both also contributed verse, articles, and short stories to Australian periodicals and radio poetry sessions. The sisters wrote the words for 'Carols for Unison Voices and Piano' (1969), to accompany music by Miriam Hyde.