Dr. Pamela Appelt was born in St. Mary, Jamaica, and attended high school and college at West Indies College in Mandeville, Manchester. She studied Microbiology and Biochemistry in London, England and came to Canada in 1966, where she worked as a researcher in medical biochemistry at McGill University for several years. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy, Concordia University and holds a honorary Doctorate of Laws, Northern Caribbean University (2002).
In 1987, Pamela is the first female Afro-Canadian to serve as a judge of the Court of Canadian Citizenship. She served in this capacity for 11 years, after which, she retired to pursue other interests. The major themes in her life are helping children and families live a better life and she fulfills that passion as a member of the Speakers Bureau of Ontario; regularly speaking to groups, schools and organizations regarding religious human rights, violence against women and children, and issues that affect immigrants and visible minority women. Her knowledge in the area of religious human rights has lead to speaking engagements in Germany and France.
She was appointed by the Province of Ontario as an adjudicator with the Custody Review Board and the Child and Family Services Review Board, whose mandate is negotiation and dispute resolution for Young Offenders; she served there for five years. The Board offers young offenders a vehicle through which their concerns can be considered.
Pamela is grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in our society, and believes that the community needs role models to help our young people reach their full potential. Her exposure and involvement in the wider community has prepared her to be a good advocate for the less fortunate and those who are marginalized.
She is an accomplished 3D decoupage artist whose works have been exhibited in New York, Chicago, Jamaica, and Canada. Pamela currently serves as the vice-chair of the Harbourfront Centre Board and is also the co-chair of Jamaica50 Toronto Committee.
Pamela was recognized for her outstanding achievements by Government of Jamaica in 2008 with the honour of the Order of Distinction, in the rank of Officer. She has also been honoured and highly recognized by various organizations.
She plays active roles in a number of community and national organizations. She is inspired by the creativity of artists, the spoken word, and the ability of individuals to go beyond themselves to be of service to others.
Pamela, who is very passionate about her work, says, "I do what I do because I believe that each individual has a responsibility to reach out and make a difference in the lives of others, and in the community."