Ada Wilkinson was born in Stawell but spent a large part of her life in Diamond Creek before moving to Bundoora. Ada began working at Mont Park as the kiosk manager in 1985, alongside one other woman. The kiosk was quite a basic setup, designed more like an informal drop-in centre which provided tea, coffee, sandwiches and cakes and space for the patients to visit.
‘As I remember’ recalled Ada, ‘the people who used to come in and buy things just loved icing, so we used to have these little patty cake things with icing on them.’ The customers were mostly patients, with some staff members dropping in every now and then. Some customers had very specific requests for food. Ada recalled one staff member: ‘I remember one particular lady – she always wanted tomato sandwiches but she didn’t want to see the tomatoes so you had to put this tiny little bit of tomato in.’
Ada only worked in the Mont Park kiosk for a couple of years. At times she found it hard, as she felt that some of the patients who frequented the kiosk had quite sad lives.
Our thanks go to Ada for agreeing to release her interview through the project’s management team and excerpts on our website.