Stella was born in Edinburgh in 1944. She is descended from two long-established Singapore families; both her parents were born in the heartland of old Peranakan society, in Emerald Hill Road.
Stella was educated at Raffles Girls’ School and the University of Singapore. From 1966 she lived in Malaysia, England and Scotland. In 1986 Stella returned to Singapore
Stella has written plays, novels, poems, short stories and musicals, and received the SEA Write Award. When Singapore’s Ministry of Culture organised the National Playwriting Competition in 1979, 1982 and 1985, Stella won the First Prize on all three occasions.
Her best-known work is the monodrama, Emily of Emerald Hill . In 2006 she became the Chairperson of Musical Theatre Limited, an Arts Charity which promotes the creation of new Singaporean musicals. Since then she has written several musicals, the latest being EMILY – the Musical.