In February 1915, at the tender age of fourteen, Mona Donaldson started to work for Australasian Films in Sydney as a film examiner. Two years later she moved to Paramount Pictures, first as a film examiner, then as a booking clerk. In 1921 she left that position to look after her ailing mother, but she had enjoyed the work, and when her sister was able to take on the caregiver role, she looked around for further work in the film industry. Because she had experience, she was able to obtain a position as a film cutter in what was then the largest film production enterprise in Sydney—Australasian Films. Already, she was building a reputation, both for competence and for independent spirit. When she found that her new employers were considering her job as temporary, she reminded them that the original advertisement had not stated that. When they suggested that her salary should be the same as it had been at Paramount, she insisted that it was a more responsible position and she deserved a higher salary. She won on both counts (Wright 47; Donaldson).
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