Pam with entrants in the Rodeo Queen Quest on the Gold Coast.
Pam with entrants in the Rodeo Queen Quest on the Gold Coast.

Well-known Brisbane woman thrives in city life

SHE is one of Brisbane's most poised and glamorous women, proof that hard work, commit- ment and a balance of family life and cherishing long-time friendships can see you age with both grace and stamina.

Pam Tamblyn is a well-known figure in Brisbane.

The mother of two, grandmother (Nonni) of three, is at an age when she could easily leave the business world behind and devote time to herself and her husband Lew.

However, she continues to have a role in her successful modelling agency Tamblyn Models Australia, working locally and globally in a competitive industry with Brisbane as her base.

Although Pam has handed over the day-to-day running of the modelling agency to her daughter Sallie, she is still very much involved, hosting events and producing Bridal Expos, Ekka Parades, Fashion Festival Week.

Hard work and goal- setting are an integral part of Pam's lifestyle; she doesn't know anything else.

Her long career has been as vibrant as it is enduring, beginning in the fashion industry in Adelaide where she grew up.

"I began working in Adelaide for fashion agents, handling leading Australian designers," she said.

At the same time Pam was forging a career in television, first as a singer then as a weather presenter and children's show host.

An impressive five Logies for "South Australia's most popular television personality" was just the beginning of a long and successful career in the entertainment industry.

The move to Queensland in 1981 with Channel 9 and later with Channel 10 had Pam thrive in the Sunshine State, presenting women's programs as well as reading the news.

But Pam wanted more. With the help of Lew she opened a grooming and finishing school on the Gold Coast and presented courses in television training.

She also opened a finishing school in Brisbane, and then watched in delight ( with thousands of others) as Brisbane changed from a sleepy town to a vibrant city.

"I just love the way Brisbane has evolved into a fabulous city," she said.

"We love Brisbane as a base, but we work very closely with agencies around Australia."

The transition from fashion and television industry to opening a modelling agency in Brisbane in 1987 seemed a natural progression.

"I really wanted to work with young people, to promote models and help them being well-groomed, courteous and confident," Pam said.

She soon began introducing local Queensland models to the national scene and then the international stage, and the work continues today through Tamblyn Modelling Agency.

"We travel annually overseas to keep in touch with our international colleagues," she said.

"In the beginning we started to visit the overseas agencies to avoid being tagged as 'just a Brisbane agency' and we now have agencies from New Zealand, New York, Paris, Milan, London, Hamburg, India, Hong Kong China and so on."

Like anyone in business, Pam has had to keep up with technology, realising she would get left behind in the cut-throat world of modelling and fashion if she did not adapt.

"The modelling industry is no exception to being affected by the digital age," she said.

"Things like fashion shows in shopping centres used to be commonplace, but not anymore.

"I was lucky to have my husband Lew join Tamblyn Models, he is the studio photographer.

"My daughter Sallie also joined and she manages the Brisbane agency and oversees

all international bookings."

Pam is also active in fundraising, and for eight years has helped raise money for Childhood Cancer Support.

Although she is still very much involved in the business, she has managed that rare thing: balance.

She lives on acreage with horses and dogs and tries to spend as much family time as possible.

"Our son Mark is in Western Australia but our daughter Sallie lives nearby and we have three gorgeous grandchildren," she said.

Friendship plays an important part in Pam's life.

Her gaggle of girlfriends remains as strong as

ever, with them spread across the world: London, US, France and Australia.

"I truly value my girlfriends and quite often relate how important this is to my young models, to retain your friendships for life," she said.

As for the secret to Pam's business longevity? "As in any business, large or small, it is all about hard work, dedication, loyalty, honesty... and a bit of luck," she said.

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