Ada reflects with pride on decades of service

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Geoff VivianMidwest Times

A tireless worker for the Mid West and Gascoyne Aboriginal Community has retired at age 83.

Ada Fossa was a founding member of the Murchison Regional Aboriginal Corporation when it began in Geraldton in 1986 to address an Aboriginal housing shortage.

“We started out in a small office in Forrest Street and we grew into the big organisation we have now and I am very proud to be in MRAC and proud of all the other directors involved,” she said.

“We were aiming to give Aboriginal families decent accommodation to live in so we built houses and bought houses with what funding we had.

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“In the beginning it was probably one or two houses, as much as we could afford to build or buy.”

Mrs Fossa said they ended up supplying hundreds of houses to families from Geraldton down to Three Springs and up through Meekatharra, Mt Magnet, Yalgoo and Sandstone and across to Shark Bay and Carnarvon.

Her daughter Teresa Pedrocchi said her mother, who lived in Denham, never missed a meeting come rain, hail or shine and caught buses from wherever she happened to be.

Mrs Fossa typically caught the bus from Shark Bay to meet the bus coming down the highway from the Pilbara, often in the early hours of the morning.

She would return the next day to link with another Shark Bay connection, also after midnight.

“The bus used to run two or three times a week — I always had relations in Geraldton to stay with,” she said.

Her daughter Pat Oakley said she was caring for her mother in Perth at present after an operation but Mrs Fossa intended to return home to Denham.

Beside her work with MRAC, Mrs Fossa was also a founding member of Shark Bay’s Yadjalla Aboriginal Corporation and an author.

“Mum wrote a book in 2010 called ‘Stories Laughter and Tears through Bygone Years in Shark Bay’, and she’s in the process of writing her second book,” she said.

Mrs Fossa said she was very proud of MRAC and its work in the region.

“We provided good quality housing for Aboriginal families,” she said.

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