Original publication date 2015.
PARAMEDIC students Ann Wilkinson and Jessica Age share a common goal to create a successful career as outstanding paramedics in their community.
Serving the community is their focus and they hope by joining the ranks of the Mount Isa Ambulance Station will rally the Kalkadoon community, especially their family members.
One of the Paramedics Ms Wilkinson said, “I am immensely proud of the opportunity given to me by QAS to provide a service to my community and act as an example to others including my own children,”
“Ann and I recognise we have a long hard road of study ahead to gain paramedic status and welcome the challenge knowing we will be well supported by the other staff in Mount Isa.
Queensland Ambulance Service Local Ambulance Service Network Superintendent Evan Kaddatz was thrilled with the appointment of the two Paramedics.
“It’s a delight to have Ann and Jessica on the team,” he said.
“This initiative is of significant value to Queensland Ambulance Service in Mount Isa as a cultural interface to the local Kalkadoon community.
“Ann Wilkinson has worked with Queensland Ambulance Service for a number of years as a baby capsule fitter at Mount Isa Station. More recently, Ann worked as a first aid instructor providing education and training to the local community and small businesses.
Mr Kaddatz said this was the first time these positions at Mount Isa had been made available outside of the more specific indigenous communities such as Doomadgee, Normanton and Mornington Island. The new positions will boost staffing levels at the Mt.Isa Ambulance Station to 27.
Ms Wilkinson and Ms Age spent their first few weeks learning the ropes at Mount Isa Station and undertaking QAS driver training in Gympie, QLD.
Late last year Ann and Jessica attended a joint workshop in Brisbane with other indigenous students from around the state.
This workshop is held every six months and provides ways for students to develop their learning experiences and engage with other paramedical students and build a solid network.
“The aim of Queensland Ambulance Service is to offer many opportunities to indigenous people in order to train as paramedics so that they can assist in providing ambulance service to their local communities. Having a core of indigenous employees across the Local Ambulance Service Network allows non-indigenous staff to be given a much better understanding of cultural issues and a closer connection to the local population.”
Mr Kaddatz says there was a high probability a cadet workshop would be conducted in Mount Isa.
“This will include the final assessment for cadet Krystal Smith of Normanton who will then hopefully qualify as a QAS Paramedic,” he said.
Becoming a qualified paramedic can open up many pathways for local community members to return back to their own regions and serve the people they know best. The Queensland Ambulance Service is an incredible organisation offering a solid career for those who are considering a future as a Paramedic.
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