Interview with former Mayor of Logan
Pam Parker OAM
In mid 2017, I had the privilege of interviewing the former Mayor of Logan City, Pam Parker OAM. The interview and write-up is mainly about her younger life before getting into the leadership position in politics, this eventually went to towards her receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in January 2019.
By Micaela Aboody
Former Logan City Council Mayor, Pam Parker, was always going to be in a leadership position, though she never realised it would be a political role. Parker believes that being one of seven children in a low-socioeconomic environment prepared her to be “strong, determined and resilient” and the experiences throughout her life helped her into leadership. The leadership skills she obtained assisted her in serving, helping and caring for the Logan community.
“I knew I was always a people person. I loved talking to people and I loved helping people,” former Mayor, Pam Parker said.
Growing up with five brothers prepared her for the male-dominated industry she pursued. Although, she believes that gender equality in politics is becoming less of an issue it is still harder for women in the position of leadership. Because “[women] have to work twice as hard to prove [themselves] to be half as good.”
Parker never saw herself in politics, but after her leave of about five years she worked for Logan City Council before winning a discrimination case against them and returning as a councillor. Having 11 years of knowledge and experience as a councillor Parker brought these attributes and the strength of character to the leadership role of Mayor. The former Mayor got her position during the time of an amalgamation and even though she got condescending comments, these remarks along with her nurturing and protective nature made her more determined.
“I felt I had to fight against people who wanted to get in and wouldn’t care about my people,”
Throughout the years she continues to inspire young women to discover and develop skills around their passion in life. Parker believes “passion is a powerful tool” and gives strength and resilience to get through obstacles. She identifies “Strength, balance with compassion” as being significant qualities in leadership and persuades young women to step out of their comfort zones and to speak up when they see things are wrong.
“If you’ve got righteousness on your side and God’s favour you will push through all the challenges you face,”
Parker cared and worked tirelessly for the people of Logan and helped create community inclusiveness and put Logan out there positively. Parker believes that Logan has great connecting spirit of giving and caring.
“The greatest strength of Logan is its people,”
Since retirement, she is the chair of the Government Grands Commission, spoken at and attends events in Logan, enrolled in community groups, regularly attends church groups and women in business forums to share her story to inspire others. Although, Parker admits the hardest part of resigning was worrying about how her people would be cared for.
However, in the future Parker would like to have inspired enough young people to believe in themselves and humbly achieve greatness.
“Always be humble,” Parker says.
Speaking with Pam Parker is very inspirational, especially as I am a young woman myself, and everything she spoke about with leadership and speaking up when something is wrong made me have motivation to do what I want to do. Pam Parker motivates people and women to step out of their comfort zone and go for what you want, even if people don’t think you will be able to do it, she explains that passion and righteousness will help you through the challenges.