Beverly Bainbridge attended Belmont Public and Newcastle Home Science School, and lived near a lake as a youth, which was where she learned to swim. She started as a member of Swansea-Belmont Amateur Swimming Club and later joined the Newcastle Ladies’ Premiers Amateur Swimming Club. Bainbridge swam for Australia at the 1956 Olympics, where she placed fifth in the 100 butterfly. She won gold in the 110 yard butterfly at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, adding a silver in the 4x110 yard medley relay. Bainbridge set Australian records for the 100 metre butterfly in 1955 and 1956, and for the 110 yard butterfly in 1955 and 1959.