Hard work, dedication to city doesn’t end at retirement
THROUGH all the hardships and challenges COVID-19 presented over the past year, Ipswich’s 2021 Senior Citizen of the Year believes it has made the world a kinder place.
For former nurse and midwife Pam Lane, her hard work and dedication to the city and its people did not end when she retired close to a decade ago.
She arrived in Ipswich in 1993 after being appointed as director of nursing and rose up the ranks to become West Moreton Health’s CEO seven years later.
She retired from her post in 2012.
Since then Ms Lane has taken on a number of board roles and serves as president of the Ipswich Club; only the second woman to do so in the group’s long history.
Currently she is chair of the fundraising committee of the Zonta Club of Ipswich and is on the board of Ipswich Hospice Care, where she chairs its quality and safety committee.
She also loves playing golf but a bad knee has kept off the green of late.
Her career in health began in Toowoomba in 1966.
She received her award at the 2021 Australia Day Awards on Wednesday.
Ms Lane, 72, said the coronavirus pandemic had forced voluntary organisations to adapt.
“We all became very good at Zoom and I think some of our meetings were most productive (than face-to-face),” she laughed.
“We got better with using the technology. I think people have been a bit kinder to each other and it’s brought the community closer together.
“I think volunteers in the community are very, very important.
“They are the heart and soul of the community.
“I think if you’ve been very fortunate in life you should volunteer.
“I think that’s a very necessary component. I’ve had a very fortunate life.”
One of the Ipswich region’s biggest challenges in the coming years will be ensuring health infrastructure keeps up with the huge population growth expected.
Ipswich is the fastest growing region in Queensland.
The city’s former health chief says she is positive about the future.
“I’m an optimist,” she said.
“I think Ipswich has always been served well by its health services both public and private.
“We’re supported by good GPs and specialists. The services will continue to grow.
“The expansion (at the Ipswich Hospital) is really necessary.”
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.