Brian Francis Luby was born in East Melbourne in 1936. His connection to Mont Park is two fold. As a child, he lived in Rosanna, just off Waiora Road. In those days Mont Park was known locally as an asylum. From 1959 to 1962 Brian came to work at Mont Park Hospital as its sole social worker.
Brian ’s childhood recollections include Second World War memories of a neighbour, a lady who worked at the kiosk and who invited Filipino servicemen billeted at Mont Park to afternoon tea. She also invited an Italian prisoner of war home for a meal. When he was 12 or 13 he was a boundary umpire for a local YCW, Heidelberg, team that played on the oval at Mont Park and recalls one of their fervent supporters was one of the patients at Mont Park.
As a university student, Brian changed from architecture to social work and his first posting under a Mental Health Authority cadetship, was in 1959 to Larundel and soon after to Mont Park as its sole social worker. At Mont Park hospitalat that time, there were 1600 patients, many of whom were long stay. In 1960, Brian and his wife were provided with a brand new house to rent, on site. In his interview, Brian describes his work and the hospital at the time, which was before the development of a lot of modern drug therapies. He was there as new developments and changes were beginning to occur.
Brian went on to work for Commonwealth and State government departments, notably co-ordinating the development and evaluation of the Australian Assistance Plan of the Whitlam government and later worked for the State Health Department where, in 1986, he was on one of the committees which planned the decommissioning of Willsmere Hospital, the old Kew Asylum.
Our thanks go to Brian for contributing to the project by sharing his experiences at Mont Park and for agreeing to release his interview through the project’s management team and excerpts on our website.