Junie Morosi – Beauty and Politics Don’t Mix!

March 8th, 2021 · No Comments

By Benjie de Ubago

In honor of International Woman’s Day, I take time to fondly remember the strength of a woman whose name was, Junie Morosi. 

The exotic beauty of Junie Morosi.

Morosi fought gender inequality at a time when politics was ruled by men.  She was sought after in the Community in the 70s. She stood tall and with her long black hair would command the attention of any room she entered.

Junie was born in Shanghai but grew up in the Philippines. She migrated to Australia in 1963, married and had two sons. The Morosi family was quite well known in the community in the 60s and 70s.  Her brother, Rico was also an active member of the community. He operated a Solo petrol station and a Repair shop where most Filipinos went to have their cars checked in those days.

In the early 70’s, she would be the special guest at Philippine Independence Day event and other Filipino official functions. She also hosted parties for her sons in their house and would quietly stand in the corner and smile warmly to the teenagers.

She worked in sales and marketing in the airline industry until 1972. Then, she took on the position of Deputy Assistant to the Minister of Immigration, Al Grassby in the newly established office of the Ethnic Community Relations from 1972 to 1973. Later, she was offered the position of Principal Private Secretary to the Hon. Dr. Jim Cairns, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer from 1973 to 1975. This became the bane of her existence. 

Junie Morosi with Dr. Jim Cairns.

Her appointment came at a time when it was unthinkable for women to hold an esteemed position in politics.  An alumna of University of the Philippines and University of the East, there was no doubt she was quite capable.  She had the intelligence, experience but her exotic beauty caused much controversy, fanning rumours of affairs with Dr. Cairns.  She was vilified in the press long after Dr. Jim Cairns was dismissed from office in 1975.  She sued the 2GB and the Daily Mirror for defamation and won her case.

After politics, she continued to her affiliation with Dr. Cairns as his Personal and Research Assistant from 1975 to 1986.

She established   the Wyuna Community Inc., a housing provider and cooperative in Canberra. As the concept was Dr. Jim Cairns, her involvement in the project attracted controversy once again.  It was alleged that she was given preferential treatment in obtaining grants for the place.  The grant was withheld but later released after an investigation revealed that there was nothing inappropriate in its operations.

 As a non-profit organization, the Wyuna Co-operative continues to provide housing, mental health and life skills support to its members. She has retired from the media spotlight but continues as a Director of Wyuna to this day, 34 years after.

She wrote “Sex, Prejudice and Politics” in 1975 in answer to her detractors. She also wrote “Tomorrow’s Child” in 1982.

8 March 2021

Tags: Features