A radio presenter, teacher and performer, Monica Morgan made waves in the Ballarat Community at a time when men dominated the workforce and the media.
Born 3 June, 1931 in Rochester, Monica was educated at St Joseph’s Primary School Ballarat and went on to attend Loreto College. She was also a student of James F O’Shea, who was a prominent teacher of speech and drama in Ballarat.
In 1950, after graduating from the London College of Music as a speech and drama teacher, Monica went to work at radio 3BA after winning a radio announcer competition during her final year at school. Known as Monica Tehan then, Monica hosted daily and weekly radio programs including Hospitality House and the children’s program, Bluebirds. She also hosted alternate Sunday afternoon programs, interviewed celebrities of the day and compared balls, fundraisers and fashion parades. She even stood in for the Queen, reading her speech at a rehearsal at the Botanical Gardens the day before Queen Elizabeth II visited Ballarat in 1954.
Monica later married Ron Morgan, a teacher, and lived in various Victorian country towns as Ron moved around with his career. Returning to Ballarat, Monica began teaching speech and drama to private students while establishing drama as a subject at Sacred Heart College. She stayed at the school from 1977 – 1988, simultaneously becoming a highly respected guest lecturer, guest teacher and coach. It has been said that Monica was the first classroom teacher of drama in Ballarat and her innovative approach to drama as a subject has been substantial – not just in Ballarat, but around Victoria.
During a 30-year career of teaching speech and drama, Monica has been president of the Speech and Drama Teachers’ Association of Victoria and has acted as a judge, compere and adjudicator across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. She was also a competitor, board and sub committee member of South Street. Monica was a member of the National Theatre of Ballarat for many years and appeared in several of its production.s Her last role on stage was as Aunt Eller in Oklahoma with the Ballarat Light Opera Company in 1999.
Monica and Ron were very comitted in the Catholic Church and they carried their values from this into every day life, where they thought if you are going to live in a community your job was to give to the community.
Monica died at the age of 86 in 2018, after the end of her life was overshadowed by illness. Monica is buried at the Ballarat New Cemetery, Highview Gardens Row 4 Grave 20