Val graduated with an Honours degree from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sydney in 1976. Val worked as a consultant archaeologist and in the Cultural Heritage Division of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service before completing her PhD at the University of Sydney. Since 1989 she has worked in the Anthropology Division of the Australian Museum. Val joined AAA as an undergraduate student in either 1975 or 1976. She was co-editor of Australian Archaeology with Betty Meehan for volumes 30-35 (1989-1992). She was also AA Short Reports Editor for volumes 42-49 (1996-1999). She has attended 19 of the 25 conferences that have been held since the Kioloa 1978 conference, presenting eight papers and two posters, and chairing one session. She has also assisted in judging papers and posters on three or four occasions and attended the AGMs held at each of these conferences.