Monica was born in Gordonvale, Far North Queensland. She is of the mBarbarum clan in the Atherton Tablelands of Far North Queensland. Her ancestry is of the Yidinji which is her father’s mother’s nation on the east coast around the Cairns and Gordonvale area. Her mother’s nation is the eastern Kuku Yalanji people who are from the Mossman to Hopevale areas of Cape York Peninsular.
She moved to Sydney after graduating from high school to pursue a career in dance. She joined the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA Dance College) and trained to be a dancer with supporting skills in video, photography and producing music for dance. She graduated in 1984 with an Associate Diploma in Dance.
She then worked as a professional dancer and dance teacher for nine years with the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre (AIDT).
She was also a founding member of the Bangarra Dance Theatre, Australia and assisted with the establishment of the company in administration and performance.
Monica is currently teaching Indigenous Studies and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts Program for NAISDA Dance College.