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Ode to Mary

One of our hopes for WomxnConnect is to generate conversations arising from our published profiles of women. Pam Corcoran was stirred by the article Privacy Settings and sent us a copy of what she had written to her friends in response. We're heartened by Pam's willingness to share her musings with the wider WomxnConnect community. Over to Pam...


It's entitled Privacy Settings, with the theme of women and girls making more noise in the world, the community, the work spaces, home etc. The article has me thinking and reflecting on something that has been on my mind of late, my own mother who recently passed away. My Mum was a quiet women who raised six kids in the working class environment in North England in the 1960s. She was an incredibly calm, generous and thoughtful community minded woman - though when she was required to be in protector mode, a fierce ‘do not mess with me' stance appeared. It seems to me, that for Mum, commitment to family and her life-long partner, dad, was her life. She was a well-trained and loving Mum who still cooked and fed her adult family right up until she died. This is what she loved to do most of all, cook and feed you. Humour was the spice of life for my Mum, she laughed and cried laughing where ever she could find humour. We have been a fractured family for some time and I'm pondering my Mum's stories, emotions, experiences and the resilience that she developed and nurtured. With her remaining silent about her lot in life for decades, I’ve always had questions for my Mum, about life, and her family of origin. Now that she’s no longer here with me, I have even more questions: How was she able to juggle all that she did? Did she truly recognise the skills and strengths she had ? How did she contain her emotions so well? How did she keep going despite hardships? How come mum had so few friends calling on her when she was so friendly? What had been the opportunities she had missed out on in her life? What would she do differently given a chance? I imagine these are also questions for other women in the roles they have today too. My Mum wasn’t a women who complained about her lot in life, no way. So, I can imagine some of these curiosities about my Mum's life could have been a challenge for her to even consider.

I'm thankful that Mary Teresa Gaskell is my Mum and that I have women friends to continue to share life stories and events with as part of a mutuality of loving relationships that endure the test of time and distance.

We have to be thankful don't we.


Pam Corcoran is a white settler who migrated from working-class Northern England over twenty years ago to Brisbane. I continue to discover more about myself and the wisdom I carry as I lean into my fourth generation Celtic ancestral roots.

I am the founder of Co-Creating Safer Spaces. A psychotherapy initiative which began with stepping into private practice after many years of navigating tricky systems in community and government work.

This work is informed by holistic, respectful and compassionate approaches which uses both traditional and non-traditional ways of working alongside people. The focus is on mind and body exploring and supporting teenagers and adults across all ages and abilities to develop and befriend emotions in ways that offer validity and strength.

Social justice, equity and continuing to understand new areas of body and mind psychology along with a strong ability to connect with people, continues to drive an inner energy to discover what helps and supports people to feel stronger across all aspects of their life.

I offer one on one sessions, bringing a rich range of skills and practices connected to narrative therapy, somatic body work, emotional freedom, trauma informed care and breath work.

You can find more about me on Facebook at co-creating safer spaces (a website is coming soon) or simply email or call me if you’d like to know more.

Mobile: 0449781803

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