Maureen Sarah McGrath was born in 1925 in Novar Ballarat. She was the first child of Patrick Henry and Bridget Josephine McGrath of Ascot.

She was educated at the Ascot Primary School, Scared Heart College (boarder) and Melbourne Teachers’ College.

She taught at many schools around Ballarat including Koorcheang and North Creswick, then at Sebastopol Primary for about 6 years in the 1950s.

She married Thomas Bourke in 1955. They lived in Black Hill and had 5 children. When the youngest was 5 years old she went back to teaching at St Columba’s School, St Joseph’s Home, St Patrick’s Gordon and then as an emergency teacher around Ballarat. She retired in the mid 1980s.

She held positions in St. Columba’s School Mother’s Club, the Catholic Womens’ League and was a dedicated member of the congregation of St Columba’s Parish, Ballarat North.
She was always willing to help out and often prepared for church suppers and balls. Any friend or family member who was going through a rough time would get some sort of food donation to help them out.

She played piano and tennis, while a girl at Ascot, and then for Black Hill in Tuesday midweek competition.
Maureen and Tom greatly enjoyed the company of their eight grandchildren, having them around for holidays, where they played board games, went on picnics and played “schools”.

Maureen and Tom were married for 50 years and lived in the same home in Napier Street for all that time. Tom died in 2006 and then Maureen went to live at Nazareth House until she died in 2009.