Indigenous paramedics building cultural capability

The Queensland Ambulance Service’s award-winning Indigenous  Paramedic Program is enhancing health care and cultural understanding in  communities around Queensland.

The program provides a pathway for Indigenous  Queenslanders to qualify as paramedics or patient transport officers and work  in their local community. It helps build confidence and leadership skills and  provides local employment opportunities.

Indigenous paramedics strengthen ambulance services in rural  and remote areas and give the Queensland Ambulance Service a deeper cultural  understanding during the provision of pre-hospital care to Aboriginal and  Torres Strait Islander people.

Five cadets have successfully completed the  program as qualified Advanced Care Paramedics II and are now working in their  communities. These five paramedics also provide leadership and mentoring to the  27 Indigenous cadets currently progressing through the program.

The program was  recognised with two Council of Ambulance Authorities Excellence Awards in 2016  and two Highly Commended Awards in the 2015 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.

Left: (L–R) Wade Munns, Indigenous Cadet, Woorabinda; Anne Wilkinson, Indigenous Cadet, Mount Isa; Josh Weazel, Advanced Care Paramedic II, Woorabinda.