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Pamela Griffin

Pamela is an Aboriginal community worker whose career spans welfare work, education, public service and voluntary service of her local community.

Inducted:
2002
Category:
Honour Roll

Born in South Australia in 1939, Pamela was inspired by her mother who she describes as a "very fine, proud and principled woman" who worked as a maid in Adelaide homes and cleaned offices at night to ensure her children were well kept and who vowed, during those years of unofficial child removal, that her children would never be taken.

Pamela spent five years at college in New South Wales and showed her ability and her will to achieve. Her marriage, which lasted 33 years, was difficult and for a while damaged her self esteem, but gave her four sons. In her mid thirties, she effectively began her career by taking a welfare course at the Community Welfare Training Institute in Watsonia. She topped the class and the following year she was the coordinator of the course.

After several years at the Institute in Watsonia, her confidence grew and in the mid 1980's she applied for and got the newly created position of coordinator of the Aboriginal Employment Unit at the Public Service Board. Her next position was as a Senior Conciliator for the Commission for Equal Opportunity. Pam had been 'head hunted' for the job by the then Commissioner for Equal Opportunity, Faye Marles, who continued to be Pam's mentor throughout her career. Pam then worked for the ANZ Bank (National Employment and Education), in the Alice Springs Central Regional Aboriginal Hostel and finished her professional career as head of the TAFE Aboriginal Education Unit at Wodonga TAFE.

Pamela Griffin joined the Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation in 1994, was later its Vice-Chairperson (2000-01) and is now a volunteer worker at Mungab who is in constant demand by members of the Aboriginal community. She is a mentor for several young women in the community, encouraging them to strive for excellence in their chosen field. Pamela describes her professional life as "first of all fighting down the stereotypes; and then fighting for my people".

Reviewed 25 May 2022

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