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Meet Monica Attard

Monica Attard

Monica is currently the Head of Journalism at Macleay College in Sydney and Melbourne. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Law, Order of Australia for Services to Journalism and 5 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism, including gold.

Monica Attard spent 28 years at the ABC, working across radio and television. She was the ABC’s Russia correspondent at possibly the best time in modern history to be a Russia correspondent. She reported on the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, the collapse of Soviet communism, the rise of Boris Yeltsin and his peculiar brand of capitalism and democracy, the first Chechen war and she covered civil wars across the old Soviet Union. Four years of covering the revolution left her with just enough energy to pump out a book about the events.

In 1994, Monica returned to Australia to present ABC Radio’s PM. In 2001, she created Sunday Profile on ABC Radio, which earned her two Walkley Awards for Best Broadcast Interviewing. This brought her Walkley count to five, including Gold for excellence in journalism.

Monica hosted Media Watch on ABC TV for two years and also received an Order of Australia for services to journalism. She has a law degree and was the creator and former Managing Editor of The Global Mail.

Monica has worked for CNN International, based in Sydney and been a foreign affairs contributor to the SBS. She is also an acclaimed facilitator and MC, working across the university and public service sector as well as in banking, the law and for NGO’s.

Give us a quick run down on your background?
I started in commercial media at Channel 7, then owned by Fairfax, where I did my cadetship. But in 1983 I moved to the ABC and didn't leave - till i left! I've been a foreign correspondent, television and radio host and senior reporter and its been fabulous. 

How did you get into the industry?
I wanted to be a journalist from the age of 12! I was an Argonaut, a youth club run by the ABC in the good old days. And when I left school for university the hankering grew. I got lucky with a cadetship at Channel 7, thanks to a fabulous news director who took a punt on me. 

What is the biggest difference in the industry since you were at university?
Digital! When I started we had old typewriters, and telex machines. There were no mobiles, and the gear we carried was heavy enough to out your back out! 

What do you do when you are not teaching?
Heaps! I read, watch great television, spend time with my family and walk the dog!

What do you enjoy about teaching at Macleay?
The students. They are the best.

What subjects do you teach at Macleay?
None at the moment. I wrangle students and lecturers! 

What is the best advice you give your students?
Go for everything. 


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