Rosalie Kunoth–Monks OAM was born at Utopia cattle station (Arapunya); her parents were Amatjere people. She was educated in Alice Springs at St Mary’s Hostel for children from the outback. Here she was discovered by filmmakers Elsa and Charles Chauvel – she starred in her first film, Jedda, at the age of 15. In 1959 she took her vows in Melbourne and became the first Aboriginal Anglican nun. After 10 years she left the order, married Bill Monks, and began working for the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs in Melbourne. Together they set up the first Aboriginal Family Group Home in Victoria. In 1977 they returned to Alice Springs to run an Aboriginal Hostel for Aboriginal Hostels Limited. Rosie has held various positions: president of the Central
Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service, an executive of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Regional Council, secretary to the Traditional Owners of Alice Springs, an interpreter with the Interpreter Service of Alice Spring, Director of the Management Board of the Desert People’s Centre, and chair of the Batchelor Institute Council. She is passionate about law, justice, education, children and youth affairs, and is committed to her country and community, and
to campaigning for the political and social rights of her people.