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Aunty Anne Tranby, a legacy of passion and commitment

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article contains the names and photos of deceased people.
ATSICHS Brisbane Life Member Aunty Anne Tranby left an indelible mark on the landscape of Indigenous health and community care. Her journey spanned decades, showcasing unwavering dedication, a warm and welcoming nature and a steadfast commitment to improving the lives of First Nations people.

A proud Wutathi woman, Aunty Anne was born on Palm Island on 9 September 1945. Her career took her from her childhood home in Innisfail across the country as she sought to use her skills to improve the lives of her people.

Aunty Anne in her role as driver for AICHS

In 1981, Aunty Anne joined the AICHS team as a part time driver. In letters written by Auty Anne from this time, she reflects on her role as clinic driver as incredibly valuable.

“My role was as a driver for the park people. It was my job to effectively communicate with our grassroots people. Community from areas such as Musgrave Park and other parks around Brisbane,” she wrote.

“I transported them to and from appointments, seeing that their welfare needs were met.”

A few years later in 1984, Aunty Anne made history as Queensland’s first Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer (HLO) working at AICHS.

“My position as HLO was to implement programs that would serve our people. The Department of Employment, Education and Training funded the position but unfortunately it only ran for 12 months.”

However, Aunty Anne’s effectiveness led her to transition to the child and maternal health section at AICHS, where she continued her impactful work until 1989. Later she transferred into the Aboriginal health worker role at AICHS.

Aunty Anne Tranby, Aunty Pamela Mam, Aunty Annette Rabbitt, Aunty Evelyn Tattam and Aunty Barbara Blair

A storyteller and a people person, Aunty Anne connected with community wherever she went. For over 30 years, she worked tirelessly alongside her colleagues, contributing significantly to the growth and development of ATSICHS Brisbane. Her granddaughter, Eden, reminisces about her time working alongside her grandmother while Aunty Anne worked as an outreach worker at our clinic in Logan. In this role her passion for community wellbeing shone through.

“We would go for lunch and there was not one time when we didn’t stop to talk to someone or check in with people we saw along the way,” Eden said

In 2012, we inducted Aunty Anne as a Life Member at ATSICHS Brisbane, a testament to her outstanding contributions.

Eden reflects on this achievement, stating, “it was really important for our family. I felt immensely proud of how far she had come in her life. We weren’t surprised when she was inducted and couldn’t think of anyone more deserving.”

Aunty Anne Tranby

Aunty Anne was known for her incredibly strong work ethic. This work ethic carried her through over three decades of committed work for her people. She was passionate about her community and caring for their health and wellbeing, and it was this passion that kept her in the role.

Her journey wasn’t only confined to the clinic. Aunty Anne took her wisdom to the University of Queensland as a permanent guest speaker and frequently spoke at childcare training sessions on the importance of health and wellbeing for jarjums. Pop-up clinics, outdoor displays and talks in shopping centres showcased her commitment to reaching the community where they were.

As we reflect on 50 years of ATSICHS Brisbane, we also reflect on the profound impact Aunty Anne’s 30-year contribution made to our organisation. Her legacy lives on through the countless lives she touched, her dedication to community health, and the inspiration she instilled in those who had the privilege of knowing her. Aunty Anne Tranby, a beacon of passion, compassion and resilience, continues to be a guiding light for those who follow in her footsteps.

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