President and Vice Chancellor of Griffith University Professor Carolyn Evans has paid tribute to Aunty Pamela Mam, who recently passed away.
“She was an inspiration to all people, a remarkable humanitarian, a First Peoples’ Elder, role model, patron and matriarch,” Professor Evans said.
A descendant of the KuKu Yalanji Peoples, Aunty Pamela spent her formative years on Palm Island, where she first realised her passion for nursing.
She worked as a Nurse Aid at Palm Island Hospital before training at Townsville Hospital and becoming one of the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses in Queensland.
She helped establish the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane in 1973.
“In 2015, Griffith University, in conjunction with the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane established the Aunty Pamela Mam Indigenous Nursing and Midwifery Scholarship,” said Professor Evans.
“Three years later, in 2018, she was honoured with a Doctor of Griffith University, in recognition of her lifelong commitment to Indigenous health.
“The significant contributions she made to her people in health services and to the community were inspiring.”
Aunty Pamela once said, “When working in direct service with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is important to offer humility and leadership, knowledge and learning, respect and culturally responsive care for people. We also must never neglect the everyday support and guidance required by all health care professionals to provide proper health care.”
Aunty Pamela Mam’s legacy will continue through the Aunty Pamela Mam Indigenous Nursing and Midwifery Scholarship.