Margaret was born in Stirling, Scotland, the youngest of three children. She immigrated to Australia with her family at age eight in 1953.
Margaret graduated in 1969 from the University of Sydney majoring in Psychology and Government and subsequently attained her Diploma in Education in 1970, also at the University of Sydney. She obtained her Remedial Teacher's Certificate in Special Education from the Kuring-gai College of Advanced Education (now part of the University of Technology, Sydney) in 1974. Other qualifications include her Masters of Arts (Education) in 1975 from the University of Sydney, her Masters of Arts (Creative Writing) in 2001 from the University of Western Sydney. In 2004 Margaret obtained her Graduate Diploma of Information from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Margaret has worked as a teacher, special needs teacher and teacher-librarian at a number of inner Sydney public schools and continues to teach in Sydney.
Margaret has an ongoing collaboration with author and editor Kathleen Hawke. Their books Australia's Critically Endangered Animals and Australia's Deadly and Dangerous Animals and Plants are on the booklist for the Premier's Reading Challenge, a literacy initiative designed to promote reading to children.
Margaret is a member of The Australian Society of Authors and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Margaret married husband John in 1965. She has two children: James Roc, and actress Tasneem Roc.