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MONKS, Dina, nee Cannon

Dina Monks (formerly Dina Cannon) was born at Cobden in 1936. Her parents owned and ran 'The Cobden Times' newspaper. Dina and her sister, Jill, were sent to Morongo Presbyterian Girls' College to board when their mother, Dolly Cannon, became the first woman to be a political reporter at 'The Argus' newspaper in Melbourne. Her brother, Michael Cannon was already boarding at Geelong College.

Dina, aged eight, was Morongo’s youngest boarder in 1945. In nine years at the school, Dina was to become a School Prefect and House Captain of Roslyn and McPhee. She was also the School Librarian in 1953 and Captain of the Tennis TeamDina was the School Librarian in 1953 and Captain of the Tennis Team. She was awarded the 'Nell Moreton Memorial Prize for Music' on Speech night.

In 1954, she joined 'The Herald' (Melbourne) newspaper as a cadet reporter and seven years later went overseas with her journalist husband, John Monks.

In London, she worked as a travel writer for the Australian National Travel Association and then as a reporter on the 'Australian and New Zealand Weekly'. Meanwhile, John became Africa correspondent for 'The Daily Express' and Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe), was home for the family for the next 10 years. Daughters Suzanne and Samantha, were both born in London and son Stephen, in Johannesburg.

Returning to Australia after 15 years, the family went first to Canberra and then to Melbourne where John became Melbourne editor for 'The Australian' newspaper.

Dina, meanwhile, became a journalist at Standard Newspapers, working first on the 'Mornington Town Crier' and then on the 'Frankston Standard' where she was editor until she retired at 60.

She helped John with research for his biography on Dame Elisabeth Murdoch entitled 'Elisabeth Murdoch Two Lives' and then co-authored 'Lucy Shaw Headmistress' with Miss Shaw’s great niece, Wendy Black and historian Ian Wynd.

In retirement, Dina and John moved to South Gippsland where John died in 2014.

Sources: Biography by J. Joseph.
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