Hall of Fame introduction
The Board of Directors of the Queensland Aboriginal & Islander Health Council (QAIHC), the peak body for Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Sector, established the QAIHC Hall of Fame in 2008 to formally recognise and honour the dedication and commitment of individuals to the establishment and expansion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services in Queensland.
The QAIHC Hall of Fame acknowledges the struggles and achievements of those that have gone before, providing a platform for the present day sector to build upon and continue to support their communities to improve their health and well being.
The QAIHC Hall of fame is located in the QAIHC Secretariat Office in West End, Brisbane. The Hall of Fame serves as an archive of the careers and accomplishments related to the Community Controlled Health Sector for those chosen for induction.
The QAIHC Hall of Fame is governed by the QAIHC Board the QAIHC Board is responsible for establishing the criteria for selecting inductees and methods for determining eligibility for and election to the Hall of Fame QAIHC Board will induct individuals to the QAIHC Hall of Fame on an annual basis.
Sister Muriel Kanomi Stanley
Home Missionary and Nurse
Muriel Kanomi Stanley was born on 6th April 1918 in Yarrabah – the eldest daughter of a Bindal man, Luke Stanley from the Ayr area and Jessie Keppel Ross, a Wappaburra woman from Great Keppel Island off Rockampton.
Named Kanomi for her Aunt and also after the Island North Keppel Island – Muriel Kanomi Stanley was educated at Yarrabah Anglican Mission School. At 18 years of age in 1936 Muriel decided to join the Church Army, and by 1937 Muriel had become an assistant-teacher. In 1938, she travelled to Newcastle in NSW to attend the training college of the Church Army Children’s homes in the Hunter valley and Armidale and became in turn deputy matron and matron of an orphanage in Hobart.
Muriel Kanomi Stanley then decided she could do more for her people as a nurse. Because of prejudice against the colour, she found difficulty in realising her ambition until she was eventually accepted by the South Sydney Women’s Hospital. She completed an 18th month course, passed the final examination in November 1944, and was registered as an obstetric nurse in March 1945. Reputedly, she was the first Aboriginal person to qualify in midwifery, after having already gained her triple nursing certificate. She was offered jobs in Sydney hospitals but decided she wanted to return home to Yarrabah to help her people.
Back home, Sister Muriel Stanley was appointed matron of the hospital and in addition to her duties there visited chronic invalids in their homes and led the St Mary’s Girls Guild. Margaret Clifford, Ethel Wilson, Doris Choikee, Dulsie Fourmile and Hilda Murgha were among numerous women to work with Sister Muriel in the early years. With the help of her three brothers Connie, Charlie, Luke and brother-in law Bernie Singleton Snr, they would transfer sick patients and many expectant mothers by boat to Cairns; some babies were born in the boat on the way. Transport then meant waiting for the tide to change, rough seas and battling the weather.
In 1959, with her adopted daughter Mina, Sister Muriel left Yarrabah and travelled to London for the Church Army to undertake a 2 year course in moral welfare. On their return to Cairns in 1962 Sister Muriel became a social – welfare officer : the Anglican Church’s only full-time welfare worker with Aboriginal people in Queensland. Sister Muriel Kanomi Stanley nephew, Bernie Singleton, considers his aunt an exceptional woman of her time. She went through the Suez Canal and showed us all photos.
From 1967 Sister Muriel was based at Woorabinda mission, South West of Roackampton, as liaison officer. Her employer, the Department of Aboriginal and Islander Affairs (DAIA) moved her to Brisbane in 1970 but she returned to North Queensland. In December that year, at St Alban’s Church of England, Yarrabah, Sister Muriel married Norman Gresham Underwood from Gordonvale, a canecutter and a widower. She retired in 1974 but she and her husband continued to work at a Children’s home at Mt Gravatt and for the One People of Australia League (OPAL).
Mrs Undewood but always referred to as Sister Muriel, suffered with a heart condition. When she passed away on 18th May, Sister Muriel Kanomi Stanley was laid to rest in Gordonvale.
Mrs Kay Mundraby has served in many roles during her more than 24 years-service at Kambu Medical Center. In more recent years she has worked as the Aboriginal Health Worker responsible for the Diabetes Support Program and as a committed supporter of her many clients within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community of the Ipswich and West Moreton Region.
Amongst her many attributes Aunty Kay has a unique ability to engage with people of all backgrounds. She displays a passion for ensuring that people get the support that they need. This includes the elderly in our communities who sometimes are living independently and are experiencing isolation; mothers anxious about their babies’s health and wellbeing; to lending a kind ear to those less fortunate who are struggling with life’s challenges on a daily basis.
Aunty Kay hold a wealth of knowledge in the community and is a specialist when it comes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and the sector she represents. She is highly regarded and respected by her clients and peers for the professional and ethical work she has undertaken over the course of her career. She visits clients in her own time on week-ends and often after her work day has finished to see that all is ok.
Kay Mundraby is affectionately known as Aunty Kay to many young people in her own Ipwich community : those she weighed as babies or as children of the mothers she took care of and supported in the early days of coming home with their new babies.
As a health worker Aunty Kay has seen many changes and people over the years, a record which has prompted the following description : like a fine wine that gets better with time, or just like a fine fiddle-there are many strings to this blow, and she has played them all.
Kambu Medical is undoubtedly enriched by the services and presence of such an esteemed lady who has achieved many goals and done so in her quite humble way. Aunty Kay has helped pave the way for another generation of health workers supporting the community controlled health sector further along the journey of assisting clients in taking control of their own health care.
Aunty Anne Tranby has worked at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Brisbane Limited for over 25 years.
Her mob is the Wutathi and Aunty Anne has long demonstrated a love and passion for her people and the community. This is evident in the way she works for our people and her commitment to improving Indigenous health outcomes.
She began her service at ATSICHS Brisbane as a part-time driver. During her career she has performed numerous other roles which include serving as a Hospital Liaison Officer, an Aboriginal Health Worker and more recently as an Outreach Worker at Brisbane ATSICH’S Logan Clinic.
Aunty Anne is highly regarded and respected for her professional and caring manner when providing services to our community. The nomination of Aunty Anne Tranby to a level of representation such as this is an opportunity to recognise someone who has dedicated their life and career to Indigenous health at the service delivery level in Queensland.