• A mural of Aunty Pam Mam and her husband Uncle Steve Mam. (Supplied:NACCHO)Source: Supplied:NACCHO
Aunty Pamela Mam has passed away after a life of trailblazing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.
Keira Jenkins

21 Jan 2020 - 5:19 PM  UPDATED 21 Jan 2020 - 5:19 PM

Aunty Pamela Mam, a pioneer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services has passed away, aged 82.

Aunty Pam became one of the first Aboriginal nurses in Queensland after completing her training at Palm Island Hospital and Townsville Hospital. 

She then went on to do midwifery at the Royal Women's Hospital in Brisbane.

She was one of the co-founders of the Brisbane Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS), which was established in 1973.

Aunty Pam was a life member of the Brisbane ATSICHS and the inaugural inductee into the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council Hall of Fame.

In 2015, Griffith University and ATSICHS Brisbane established the Aunty Pamela Mam Indigenous Nursing Scholarship to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing and midwifery students.

Aunty Pam was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Griffith University in 2018.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) chairperson Donnella Mills offered condolences to Aunty Pam's family while reflecting on the Kuku Yalanji woman's life.

"She has for over 60 years, provided tireless service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, starting out as a nurse at Palm Island Hospital and progressing to be the founder of the biggest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled health services in Australia," Ms Mills said.

"Aunty Pam championed proper care for our people; based on respect, humility and cultural understanding.

"Aunty Pam is a great Australian and will always be remembered for the legacy she has created in Aboriginal-controlled heath."

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles also reflected on the life of Aunty Pam.

"Queensland and Australia have lost a fearless, trailblazing leader that dedicated more than 60 years to improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders," Minister Miles said.

"Aunty Pamela was an inspirational figure who has created an ongoing legacy of compassion and commitment for health care for First Nations Queenslanders."