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Women in Ambulance



In 2020 the Council of Ambulance Authorities was proud to launch the inaugural Women in Ambulance campaign designed to highlight successful and hardworking women in ambulance services across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

This year the CAA Women in Ambulance campaign recognises 58 women who have been awarded the CAA Women in Ambulance Honour for their work and career progression and are being championed as role models to the rest of the workforce.

The CAA Women in Ambulance campaign is looking to empower and inspire future generations of women to step into ambulance careers and progress into leadership roles and management levels. 

Congratulations to all our honour recipients and thank you for everything you do.



NSW Ambulance

Caitlyn Murphy

A/Duty Operations Manager

Time in service: 6 years

Biography: Caitlyn has dedicated her professional career to paramedicine and privately enjoys spending her spare time volunteering within her local community with her dog Banjo through PAWS Pet Therapy. She demonstrates her personal values in her daily life through her advocacy for those in need, with a genuine commitment to her local communities. She is an engaged member of her team with an enthusiasm for continuous learning, evidence-based practice, and promoting positive work environments. A passionate advocate for women in prehospital health care, Caitlyn’s career is proof that she innovates positive women’s leadership in her workplace.

Career Highlights:

2012 Student Award for academic commitment and leadership

2013 ANZCP John Overton Award – National award for student paramedic demonstrating excellence in leadership and research

Joined NSWA 2013

2014 Posted to New England (Moree and Mungindi stations) for 2.5 years

2015 Acting Station Officer Moree

2017 Acting Paramedic Educator AEC

2018 Intensive Care Paramedic (ICP) trained at Bankstown

2018 Community First Responder Trainer Bundanoon

2018 NSW Ambulance Student Elect Speaker

2018 Posted to Liverpool station as an ICP

2019 Acting Station Officer Liverpool Station

2019 ANZCP Guest presenter

2019 Clinical on road training officer for ICP trainees Liverpool Station

2020 Acting Duty Operations Manager, South West Sydney

Jade Marks

Sector Duty Operations Manager, Southern

Time in service: 17 years

Biography: Jade Roe Marks commenced employment with NSW Ambulance in 2003 as a trainee paramedic at Queanbeyan Station.  She worked in Hillston from 2004-2005, then returned to Queanbeyan from 2005-2016, after which she successfully applied for the Station Manager, Deployment where she undertook that role until February 2018, when she was the successful applicant for the Southern Sector DOM position, which is where she still currently works. Jade is the mother of three young girls, Samantha, Sarah and Melissa.

Career Highlights: Whilst in Queanbeyan from 2005-2016, Jade undertook the role of Facilitator for the Captains Flat CFR Unit, attending a number of functions and training sessions out of hours, despite having a very young family. She was a very respected and loved mentor to the unit and earned herself an employee of the month award in 2013 for this. Jade has really excelled in the role of Sector DOM and her attention to details is meticulous. Jade assists the DDCO daily and goes well beyond her normal office role and tirelessly works extra hours from home just to get the job done.

Jade shows initiative in her role and has been pivotal in introducing an Induction Program for A/DOMs and A/SO’s.  She has also developed a number of manuals for staff to follow when acting in Management Roles. Jade has also taken ownership of the Governance and Accountability Reporting which has been introduced in NSW Ambulance.  She is on top of her game and has the reports to State HQ in a timely manner and if any information is ever sought, she can put her hands on it almost instantly.

Jacinta Young

Paramedic Educator / Intensive Care Paramedic

Time in service: 22 years

Biography: Jacinta is an exceptional leader and role model for all paramedics. When Jacinta arrived in Coffs Harbour in 1998, she was a minority in the area as a female on-road paramedic.

Jacinta received a Police Citation for her leadership and commitment to the community during the March 2009 Urunga flooding. She worked on the rescue of four elderly people from a flooding building; the rescue of people stuck in cars on flooding roads; and the evacuation of people from areas being cut off by floodwater. Meanwhile, Jacinta could not reach her family, or protect her own home, which had floodwater running through it. When access to the town was cut off by floodwater, outside services could not come in to provide support. At the community evacuation centre, Jacinta continued to provide not only patient care, but also vital confidence and assurance to the community.

Jacinta was selected for the Rural Clinical Leadership Program. Whilst in the Program, she developed and delivered a system to improve patient safety and operational efficiency. The aim was to ensure appropriate checks were conducted at the handover of patients from one facility to another. To achieve this, Jacinta developed the IMIST-AMBO system for NSW Ambulance which covers the standard way paramedics hand over information about patients to ED clinicians.  This was integrated into the NSW Health ISBAR system. IMIST-AMBO was subsequently adopted as formal operating procedure across the Service. More than five years on, every ambulance vehicle in NSW has an IMIST-AMBO reference card that paramedics refer to regularly on-road. This operational excellence measure is thoroughly embedded in NSW Ambulance patient care.

Career Highlights:

Enrolled Nurse prior to joining NSW Ambulance

Level 5 ICP

Long Service Good Conduct (2nd Clasp)

National Medal (1st Clasp)

Involved in initiation of ‘Straight Talk’ as a process to have difficult conversations

Improved clinical handovers by introducing tool specifically for Paramedics

Police Citation – Community Service (for efforts during flood response March 2009 – Urunga)

Staff Representative on NSW Ambulance Advisory Board (former role)

Selected for the Rural Clinical Leadership Program

Rachel Steele

Paramedic Educator

Time in service: 18 Years

Biography: Rachel joined NSW Ambulance in 2002. She became an Intensive Care Paramedic in 2008. In 2012 Rachel joined the regional education team as a Paramedic Educator, where she worked for 18 months in Western Sydney Nepean Blue Mountains. She currently holds this position in Sydney South East sector.

Career Highlights: Rachel is a highly motivated member of the Education team. She has been involved as an integral member of the curriculum development team for several rounds of scheduled training. Most recently, Rachel was a main contributor to the maternity suite of training, which has received amazing feedback from all who have undertaken it. Rachel received a Commissioner’s Award for this work. In addition to the development of curriculum, Rachel has also gone on to teach the courses. She educates staff with her high level of clinical understanding and reasoning and makes complex concepts and skills easy to understand and undertake.

Rachel has attended the Clinical Review Group and provides an invaluable educator perspective on clinical care being reviewed.

Jenny Potter

Duty Operations Manager, Bankstown Superstation

Time in service: 23 years

Biography: Jenny started with NSWA in 1997 as part of class 143 and was assigned to Campbelltown Station. In 2002 Jenny was part of ICP course 43 and in 2009 Jenny was successful in gaining the position of Station Manager of Campbelltown Station. She moved sectors to Western Sydney Nepean Blue Mountains and became the Station Manager of Tregear in 2010. In 2011 Jenny was successful in achieving the rank of Deputy Operations Manager (DOM) in the sector, and managed Tregear station until it closed. Jenny then was very welcomed as the DOM of Blacktown Station and continued in this role when the station transitioned to the new Blacktown Superstation.

Career Highlights: Jenny is a highly skilled clinician and mentor. During her time with NSW Ambulance she has always worked effectively as part of the team and also as the team leader. Her role as a Peer Support Officer has enabled her to assist colleagues following critical incidents and highly emotional jobs.

Sally Quinn

Intensive Care Paramedic / A/Station Officer

Time in service: 22 years

Biography: Sally has been with NSWA for 22 years and has provided service for St Johns Ambulance to assist the broader community. Past and present roles and endeavours include:

  • Scope Trainer
  • St Johns Ambulance volunteer
  • Urbenville Progress association
  • Station Officer Urbenville (previous)
  • Relief positions in priority stations – flexible rostering at short notice
  • Current certificate 4 in training – 4WD training
  • Trainee Paramedic mentor and coach

Sally’s local area has the highest number of people trained in 4WD anywhere in NSW. This is due to Sally’s commitment to training staff. It is invaluable to patient response in the Northern Rivers - a region with extensive beaches and bushland that can pose challenges for patient retrieval. Sally has deep ties with her local community. When she’s not at work, Sally volunteers with St John, which has done volumes to strengthen ties between emergency services in the local area. In a station with a lean and close-knit team, Sally steps up without hesitation to keep the Station running effectively, even ‘dropping everything’ at short notice to cover shifts. Sally is always sharing knowledge with others and consistently goes above and beyond her duties. She has a passion to improve the workplace. She is an inspiring employee focussed on patient care and staff welfare. She can be relied on to undertake any role or task asked of her and will always give 120% to anything she does.

Career Highlights:

  • Appreciation day – finalist & Ministers award
  • Long service good conduct medal
  • National medal
  • Attending paramedic for patient who was recognised with a Cardiac Arrest Survivor Award (2016)



Ambulance Victoria

Jessica McGowan

Paramedic / Area Manager

Time in service: 11 years

Biography: Jess commenced with AV in 2008. Jess was appointed Senior Team Manager at Broadmeadows/Oak Park Branch (one of the busiest branches in the state) in May 2013. Jess was appointed Area Manager in July 2019 with her being the only appointee coming straight out of the Team Manager ranks. This appointment was testimony to the high regard Jess is held in by her staff, colleagues and management. Jess is an incredibly important member of our Regional Management Team and someone in whom I can trust and rely on.

Career Highlights:

  • Appointed to Senior Team Manager at Broadmeadows/Oak Park.
  • Area Manager Appointment.
  • Co-ordinator of highly successful ‘Paramedics’ television series.

Rachelle Pellow

Area Manager, Gippsland

Time in service: 17 years

Biography: Rachelle is a highly motivated Area Manager with over 17 years of experience across multiple roles and departments of Ambulance Victoria ranging from Operations, Communications and Emergency Management. She joined Ambulance Victoria due to a strong desire to help people at one of their most vulnerable times. A passion to provide the best possible patient care was behind her career change.

Rachelle brings to her roles a strong desire to identify problems, work collaboratively towards continuous improvement in Best Care, and innovatively lead her teams in pursuit of excellence incorporating monitoring, analysis, strategy development and feedback. She is excited by the opportunities the new Ambulance Victoria Operations structure is providing to staff and believes that Ambulance Victoria is moving into an era of unprecedented clinical care, community engagement and leadership for all of Ambulance Victoria’s workforce.

Career Highlights:

Completing the Diploma of Ambulance Paramedic studies in 2005 and gaining employment as an Ambulance Paramedic.

Promotion to:

  • Communication Support Paramedic
  • State Events Coordinator
  • Senior Team Manager
  • Area Manager Gippsland 1

Recent opportunity to upward relieve in Regional Director Gippsland role.

Jodie Gilbert

A/Director Operational Improvement

Time in service: 3.5 years

Biography: Jodie is a highly motivated individual with confident leadership skills, sound judgement and a proven ability to think strategically. She has developed these skills practically during an extensive career and completion of a Master of Business (Human Resource Management).

Jodie has managed large multi-disciplinary teams within the emergency service and health care sectors, predominately within the area of Human Resource Management.

Areas of expertise include recruitment, redeployment, industrial relations, enterprise bargaining, WorkCover, workforce planning, project management and data analytics.

In 2003, she commenced working with Victoria Police in the field of industrial relations.  Holding several senior management positions, both in a permanent and higher duties/secondment capacity.

Between 2010 and 2013, Jodie managed the teams responsible for planning, negotiating and implementing the 2011 enterprise agreement.

In July 2016, Jodie commenced working with Ambulance Victoria overseeing the Workforce Planning Team.

Contributing to large organisation projects/initiatives such as the Ambulance Performance Improvement Portfolio that managed a $500m investment into ambulance services.

Jodie is currently performing the role of Director, Operational Improvement in an acting capacity overseeing both paramedic and corporate staff responsible for project management, improvement initiatives, operational reporting/analysis and governance.

Career Highlights: 

Examples of key career achievements include:

  • Authored the Ambulance Victoria Aboriginal Employment Plan 2016 – 2019 including commissioning new Aboriginal artwork and overseeing the development and implementation of AV’s first dedicated cultural awareness training module and Aboriginal cadet program.
  • Provided Human Resource support to the Ambulance Performance Improvement Portfolio that provided for the recruitment and deployment of 450 new paramedics.
  • Co-design the new AV Operations Supervision Model bringing extra support and opportunities to frontline employees.

Janelle McDermott

A/Board Secretary

Time in service: 15 years

Biography: Janelle has provided over 15 years of service to Ambulance Victoria (AV) in various roles. These roles have included periods at Air Ambulance, the CEO’s office as Executive Assistant to the CEO and currently as Board Governance Secretary. Janelle is a kind, honest and trustworthy individual who displays integrity in all that she does, both personally and professionally. She is not afraid of a challenge but manages to undertake her day to day interactions with care and consideration, mindful of her role and the impact of often urgent requests and pressure both for herself and her colleagues.

Career Highlights: Janelle is currently seconded to the Board Governance and Secretary role until end of June this year and continues to strive to improve not only her skills and capabilities but develop and mentor others to achieve better results in the delivery of their activities.

Aliesha Robertson

Paramedic – Area Manager Grampians

Time in service: 13 years

Biography: Aliesha has lived and worked in the Ballan/Grampians area her whole life.

After graduating from Clarendon College in Ballarat in 2002 Aliesha worked in various roles including Real Estate and Customer Service before joining Ambulance Victoria.

In 2007 Aliesha commenced work for Ambulance Victoria as an Ambulance Community Officer at Ballan, while studying at Victoria University to gain her Bachelor of Paramedicine.

In 2009 she was accepted and employed as a Graduate Ambulance Paramedic in Grampians Region, qualified in December 2010 and was appointed as an Ambulance Paramedic at Ballan.

Aliesha’s aptitude and managerial capabilities were identified very early in her career and she quickly rose through the ranks, as outlined below:

  • February 2011 - Acting Team Manager (TM) Ballan
  • April 2012 - Appointed TM Ballan
  • 2015 – Acting Senior Team Manager (STM) Wendouree, Geelong and Norlane
  • November 2015 - Acting Group Manager Central Grampians
  • August 2017 – Appointed STM Ballarat
  • June – September 2019 Acting Regional Director Grampians
  • July 2019 – Appointed Area Manager Grampians Area 2

Aliesha is married with 2 boys, and is expecting a new arrival in August this year.

Career Highlights: 

  • Succeeded in a highly competitive selection process to be appointed as an Area Manager.
  • Was acting Regional Director Grampians in the lead-up to, and roll-out of, the recent Operational Review. This was a period of significant operational and organisational change, and Aliesha successfully guided the region through this challenging and exciting time.

Michelle Crilly


Time in service: 3 years

Biography: Michelle commenced with AV in Jan 2017 at Epping branch and has permanency as an Epping team member.

Michelle is a young leader who compliments her role as a paramedic with the lived experience of a proud Yorta Yorta woman and is a driving force behind a cultural shift within Ambulance Victoria.

Michelle has grown up in the Epping area and she remains heavily involved within the Aboriginal community there and often be found in her own time undertaking community engagement roles as an AV representative.

It is a pure delight to observe Michelle engaging with and responding to the needs of the community and to see the patient who identifies as ATSI immediately become more comfortable when Michelle is part of the responding AV crew.

Career Highlights:

  • Graduating from the Ambulance Victoria Aboriginal Cadetship Program in 2017.
  • Completing the Graduate Ambulance Paramedic Program in 2018.



Queensland Ambulance Service

Tracey Anne Eastwick

Executive Manager Operations – Mackay

Time in service: 26 years

Biography: Ms Eastwick commenced her operational career with the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), in 1994 as an Honorary Ambulance Officer at Kingaroy. Between 1994 and 1997 she completed the Associate Diploma of Applied Science ambulance and was then appointed as a permanent Ambulance Officer in 1997.

Career Highlights: In 2002 she qualified as a Critical Care Paramedic and Flight Paramedic and has diligently served the community of Queensland and Mackay in the Local Ambulance Service Network (LASN) for more than 25 years. During her career with the QAS she has held several senior positions including Officer-in-Charge, Manager of Operations and Resources Readiness and, on several occasions, she has acted as Director of the Mackay LASN.

Melissa Bernas

Superintendent, Executive Manager, Continuing Education

Time in service: 21 years

Biography: I commenced my career with the Queensland Ambulance Service on 1 March 1999 in Brisbane QLD and completed the Diploma of Paramedic Science and achieved the clinical level of ACP II. On completion of the qualification I took up a position in Winton (180km north west of Longreach) which has a population of 800 people.  I worked in the community there for two years before moving onto Ayr and Townsville respectively. In 2006, I studied to become a Critical Care Paramedic and a huge part of that clinical level is providing support and guidance to peers during and after managing critically ill and injured patients. In 2009, I moved across to Mt Isa as a Clinical Support Officer and spent 18 months supporting officers from Birdsville to Mornington Island.

From Mt Isa I moved to Mackay as a Critical Care Flight Paramedic and have nearly 1000 hours in the air.

In early 2014, I moved away from an operational role and into the education field as a Clinical Support Officer and then the Manager of Clinical Education for the Mackay region where I was able to move from supporting and guiding my fellow officers at a station level to providing educational support and guidance to a larger group of officers – around 140. In late 2016, an opportunity became available to perform the role of Manager Continuing Education in the QAS state education centre and performed a role that encompassed education and support for the entirety of the QAS frontline officers. The role has since been upgraded to an Executive Manager and is the role I now proudly perform.

Career Highlights:

  • Living and working in outback QLD communities
  • Successfully completing the Critical Care Paramedic Program
  • Carrying out aeromedical retrieval and rescues in and around the Whitsundays
  • The opportunity to lead a team of senior educators that design, develop and deliver contemporary, engaging continuing education programs.

Kelly - Anne McGruer

Fair and Inclusive Practice Coordinator, Office of the Commissioner

Time in service: 12 years

Biography: After graduating high school, Kelly-Anne undertook a Bachelor of Laws/Science (Biomedicine) dual degree at the University of Queensland. During her studies, she volunteered for the Queensland Ambulance Service as a first responder. Whilst a career in ambulance was not something she had previously considered, she was instantly ‘hooked’ and applied soon after for full time employment.

She met her fiancée and father of her two beautiful girls (currently, three and one-and-a-half years old) on her first day on the job. She states “The QAS workforce is amazing and I have an inextricable admiration for this incredible group of professionals. I firmly believe that paramedicine is more than a job - it is a vocation, and witnessing the level of commitment my colleagues show to their patients, their job and each other, during every single shift, continually reminds me of why I’m here and, in turn, commits me to helping where I best can.”

Career Highlights:

After completing the in-service diploma with a Clinical Leadership Award, Kelly-Anne spent close to 6 years working as an Advanced Care Paramedic and obtained the remainder of her law degree part-time. She was promoted into a Clinical Support Officer (CSO) role overseeing our Graduate Paramedic Interns where she developed a novel system to increase oversight of milestone achievements within the graduate program and gained her initial, first-hand insight into both the benefits and the challenges of significant workplace employee demographic changes.

Her local project of “Flexible Work and Working Parent Management” subsequently progressed into a proposal for a State-Wide address of the area, which she presented to the QAS Commissioner. Commissioner Bowles immediately and enthusiastically approved the ‘Equity and Inclusive Practice’ Project; and, at the end of 2019, after a significant amount of work, advocacy and persistence by Kelly-Anne, this project culminated in the establishment of the QAS Fair and Inclusive Practice Network (FIPN).

The QAS FIPN now operates throughout our sixteen divisions and Central Office as both an employee feedback and employee consultation network. The current focus-points for this Network are: flexible work, transition to retirement, parental leave and working whilst caring. The officers that form this network support, assist and educate all levels of employees (whether they be operational/administrative, supervisory or managerial) on policy, procedure and strategy within the area, and can provide a non-biased and confidential ear to relay feedback directly to management. The FIPN focuses on informal, proactive addressing of concerns, as well as reform within the areas of organisational fairness and inclusive practice. Kelly-Anne states she designed this Network “to try to facilitate a workplace where all employees feel fully supported to perform their job, no matter their position or place in life”.

Kelly-Anne takes great pride in her current role as the Coordinator for this Network, which is a position that sits within the Office of the Commissioner and reports directly to the Commissioner’s Executive Director. Within this role, she provides high-level oversight of the Network and helps to put forward a diverse viewpoint to support operationalising flexible work and ensure sustained equity and inclusion throughout the workforce.

Kelly-Anne looks forward to continuing to ensure that the professional advancements that have occurred within paramedicine as a field, fully translate into the employee management sphere of our workplace - providing our paramedics and other employees with a leading-edge environment within which to perform their work

Renee Kane

Senior HR Consultant, Workforce Reform, Corporate Services

Time in service: 16 years

Biography: I am committed to improving the future of the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), our staff and patients through building our workforce capability and implementing solutions that deliver sustainable health services now and into the future.

I have over 19 years’ experience in the Queensland Government, 16 years within the health sector across the QAS and Queensland Health (QH). I aim to deliver holistic and integrated workforce and leadership solutions which are contemporary and achieve successful results. Funnily enough I originally wanted to be a nurse, however early work experience quickly identified I didn’t have a strong stomach. A career change to human resources was the right move and I now assist our frontline staff to save lives by improving their capability to deliver best practice. I am proud to be a working mum in the QAS, managing a rewarding career while accessing flexible work arrangements and juggling three adventurous boys at home (including my husband).

Career Highlights:

  • Co-wrote and implemented the first QAS Diversity and Inclusion Framework 2019-2022 including the Strategy and Action Plan. I am currently establishing the first QAS Diversity and Inclusion Network to integrate diversity and inclusion into every aspect of our workforce.
  • Implemented the QAS 360 Leadership Program for senior leaders aimed at building leadership confidence and capability. 100% of respondents agreed that the program provided valuable insights and would help them in their current role.
  • Implemented the QH Clinician Business Development Program, the first program nationally in the health sector aimed at increasing clinician’s business confidence and capabilities to improve service delivery. The three-month program trained 297 clinicians, over 11 cohorts for three years, with participants rating the program 91% excellent or good.
  • Implemented two consecutive years of the QH Top 500 Executive Leadership Program improving leadership capability and preparing health executive teams for the significant challenges in delivery of future health services. The overall impression of the program increased from 85% to 95% over the two years, with 599 executives participating in 29 programs, held across 17 Hospital and Health Services.

Kym Meredith

Executive Manager, Southport Operations Centre

Time in service: 17 years

Biography: Officer Kym Meredith joined the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) in March 2003 as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher. In her time in the QAS, Officer Meredith has served and excelled in many diverse and challenging roles including Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Professional Development Officer, Operations Centre Manager and Acting Operations Centre Director. Officer Meredith was appointed as Manager, Southport Operations in July 2016.

    Career Highlights: In 2018, Officer Meredith led a team which was instrumental in delivering timely and efficient WAS Services to the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

    Kate Olive

    Clinical Deployment Supervisor

    Time in service: 9 years

    Biography: Officer Kate Olive joined the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) in April 2010. IN her time in the QAS, Officer Olive has served and excelled in many diverse and challenging roles including Advanced Care Paramedic, Acting Officer in Charge, Acting Operations Supervisor and in January 2020 she was permanently appointed as a Clinical Deployment Supervisor within the Brisbane Operations Centre.

    Career Highlights: In 2017 Officer Olive was an integral part of the project team responsible for the setup of the Patient Access Coordination Hub (PACH) project. Officer Olive was instrumental in building a strong tactical relationship with Queensland Health, subsequently enabling the project to be a success which has enhanced patient flow in the South East Queensland area. 



    SA Ambulance Service

    Almina Reed

    Clinical Team Leader

    Time in service: 16 years

    Biography: Almina Reed has been with the SA Ambulance Service for 16 years, after qualifying as a paramedic and then extending her clinical skills as an intensive care paramedic. She was appointed to Clinical Team Leader in 2014 and is currently Acting Operations Manager for the area.

    Career Highlights: Almina is approachable, decisive and strives to reflect the SAAS core values of patient first. Almina has exceptional interpersonal skills and her person-centred approach has seen her develop into a high performing leader and a strong role model for women across the service.

    Amanda Cameron

    Duty Manager

    Time in service: 22 years

    Biography: Amanda has had an extensive career in Ambulance, commencing as a paramedic and then a few years later training as an Intensive Care Paramedic. Consolidating her skills, she sought out leadership positions, securing a promotion to a team leader position in the early 2000s. Since then Amanda has worked across front line leadership, undertaking relieving operations manager roles across SA, including in the space of clinical development, operational governance and emergency management. Amanda was appointed to the State Duty Manager role in 2018.

    Career Highlights: Amanda was the first female State Duty Manager appointed to SAAS and enjoyed extensive experience as a clinical team leader. She has led the introduction of reformed flexible work practices for on-road SAAS paramedics and contributed to development of the SAAS fatigue management framework. She is currently leading the reform of the State Duty Manager role.

    Natalie Gibson

    Manager, Communications and Strategic Engagement

    Time in service: 3.5 years

    Biography: Natalie was appointed to the role of Manager, Communications and Strategic Engagement at SA Ambulance Service in January 2017. Her career began in the UK in 1998 as a Media Advisor for the UK Government, where she worked for a number of Government Departments, including Transport, the Royal Household and Agriculture. Over the next 20 years Natalie has worked in various corporate roles across health and ambulance services, both in Australia and the UK. Natalie has held the roles of Head of Media for the for Yorkshire NHS Ambulance Service, Manager of Communications for Bupa Care Homes, Head of Communications and Ministerial Liaison for the Yorkshire Government Office and Head of Communications and Engagement for the Leeds NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. Since moving to Australia, Natalie has held the position of Head of Communications and Engagement for the Country Health SA Local Health Network before joining SA Ambulance Service, where she leads a team responsible for communications, community engagement, ministerial liaison and advocacy and media.

    Career Highlights: As a leader in communications, Natalie is tenacious and has seen through many crises successfully. She led the media management of food and mouth disease in the UK in 2001 but is most proud of her proactive work across health services, where she has directed successful marketing campaigns on Emergency Department avoidance, alcohol and drug misuse and care home reform. For SAAS she has spearheaded an anti-violence against paramedics campaign, is reforming the way the organisation communicates, and is responsible for gaining funding for significant ambulance reform projects through her work with the SA Cabinet.

    Cathy Wright

    Operations Manager

    Time in service: 21 years

    Biography: Cathy joined SA Ambulance Service in 1998 and progressed through the clinical roles of Paramedic, Intensive Care Paramedic and Extended Care Paramedic before becoming an Operational Team Leader, leading clinical development and policy.

    Cathy's tenacious focus on patient safety and clinical outcomes has provided a clinical leadership style that has seen the implementation of clinical improvements across the spectrum of patients SAAS attends. Cathy's strategies have literally seen an improvement of cardiac arrest survival which results in patients being able to return to their families. Cathy is clearly a role model and leader in her profession despite her modest view of herself. Her ongoing leadership style has ensured all stakeholders, internal and external, are working together to achieve exceptional outcomes for our patients.

    Career Highlights: Cathy has led the design and development of South Australia’s Community Paramedic program design, Rural SA Country Health Workforce project, Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest State-wide Improvement program, Intensive Care Paramedic conferences and is contemporising SAAS clinical practice consistent with national Practice.

    Gail Goldfinch

    Emergency Medical Dispatch Support Team Leader

    Time in service: 11 years

    Biography: Gail has focussed her career with SAAS on call receipt functions in the SAAS Emergency Operations Centre. She spent several years as an Emergency Medical Dispatch Support Officer (call taker) before being promoted to the position of team leader, a position she has held since 2013. Gail came to Ambulance as a well- respected individual having spent several years working in child support and advocacy.

      Career Highlights: Supporting thousands of South Australian Triple Zero (000) call takers in some of their worst moments of their life and driving genuine change in the space of medical dispatch.

      Sharon Paddock

      Educator, Medstar

      Time in service: 3 years

      Biography: Sharon is an intensive care nurse who works at SAAS MedSTAR providing training to specialist retrieval doctors and nurses. She has worked in SA Health for 22 years.

      Career Highlights: As well as providing education and training to support critical patient care delivery Sharon flies in rotary, fixed wing and rapid road responses.



      St. John Ambulance - Western Australia

      Kerryn Jayne Welke

      Operations Manager Metro

      Time in service: 7 years

      Biography: Kerryn commenced service with St John WA in February 2013 as a Student Ambulance Officer coming from a successful career in retail management. Kerryn graduated as a Paramedic in November 2015, going on to perform the roles of Station Manager and Area Manager within the operational setting, opportunities in which she provided outstanding support and leadership directly to on-road officers.

      Career Highlights: Kerryn was appointed as a Manager Metropolitan Operations in September 2019, providing management and supportive leadership to the metropolitan operations frontline leadership team including over 200 staff in 29 stations across the Perth.

      Through 2018 and 2019, Kerryn developed the new role of Health Partnerships Manager that led to increased external and internal stakeholder communications and industry understanding around patients transitioning from the prehospital to hospital environments, including improved efficiencies by steering operational initiatives in collaboration with Department of Health and Metropolitan Health Services.

      Dawn Corry

      Head of Supply Chain

      Time in service: 5 years

      Biography: Having worked for the global profit recovery corporation PRGx Ltd in the UK for 14 years managing her business and teams in profit recovery auditing, Dawn moved to Australia in 2011 with her family where she now manages the Supply Chain at St John Ambulance WA (procurement, purchasing, warehousing, distribution and logistics).

      During her tenure with PRGx she directed audit teams in major UK retail supermarkets recovering missed profits through contract compliance, negotiated logistical service level agreements and providing business transformation consultation.

      Dawn began her career with a small local newspaper in Old Trafford before moving into Supply Chain as a Procurement and Purchasing Manager in a not for profit housing association.  She joined PRGx in 1997 and progressed through the business from a Supply Chain Auditor to an Audit Director.

      Upon arriving in Australia Dawn engaged with a 3rd party logistic provider and oversaw manufacturer direct delivery and the transfer of City Farmers Supply Chain function in WA to Petbarn in NSW.

      Career Highlights:

      • Audit Director with PRGx
      • Transfer of City Farmers Supply Chain function in WA to Petbarn in NSW
      • Relocation of St John Ambulance WA distribution and warehousing facilities to a purpose-built site with no service interruption
      • Sourcing, tendering and purchasing of Corpuls defibrillator/monitor in short time frame
      • Direct import from St John Ambulance Australia Chinese based suppliers into WA
      • Introduction of depot replenishment model cutting waste, reducing out of date stock, creating a consistent storeroom layout and monitoring min-max to take advantage of auto-ordering which was previously done by clinical staff
      • Introduction of an e-tender portal to St John WA

      Belinda Thorne

      Manager – Office of the CEO

      Time in service: 8 years

      Biography: Belinda manages the Office of the CEO having previously been the Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO.  Previously Belinda worked for other community-based organisations such as Constable Care.  Belinda’s work in the organisation has encompassed project management of such activities as the Fabric Program and Awards and Recognition, involvement in the activities of the Order and leadership of the Executive Support team of 6 EAs and many other activities.

      Career Highlights: As well as managing the Fabric program, Belinda had the opportunity in late 2018 to be a part of the program she manages, which solidified her knowledge of both the Order and overseas ambulance services; knowledge which she readily and generously passes on to others.

      Belinda is an outstanding manager and leader.  She provides encouragement to everyone to be their ‘best self’ and to develop and improve their professional and personal strengths.  Belinda has an enormous wealth of knowledge of the organisation.  She is the ‘go-to’ person for the Executive Directors, in fact all senior managers in the organisation.

      Ellie Golling

      Infection Prevention and Control Officer

      Time in service: 3 years

      Biography: Ellie is a Registered Nurse with a background in Critical Care and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC).  She joined St John WA in 2016 in the newly created position of IPC Officer and is responsible for the development, promotion of IPC standards and training throughout SJA.  She also provides clinical oversight of the SJA immunisation program and is a resource anyone at SJA can consult for advice on all things IPC.

      Career Highlights: Ellie has a background in Intensive Care Nursing and Aged Care.  Against national-wide competition, Ellie was awarded a scholarship in her chosen field.

      Abby Kay

      Accounting Operations Manager

      Time in service: 12 years

      Biography: Abby Kay worked her way up from the mailroom at Laura Ashley in Wales, eventually joining St John 10 years later as a management accountant.  Abby quickly realised St John was an organisation full of opportunity where motivated individuals really can make a difference; she studied her Bachelor of Accounting, completing it in 2013. The transition into a system and process-improvement focused role was inevitable as Abby began working with the Finance Systems team, eventually being promoted to the manager of that team in 2015.  Abby attributes her successes too: a positive can-do attitude; a love of learning; being grateful; having empathy and also being lucky enough to have worked with some great leaders throughout the past 13 years at St John.  Abby enjoys family time with her 2 sons and running (which she says helps clear her head after a busy work day!).  She recently took on the volunteer role of Run Director at her local Parkrun where she enjoys utilising skills learnt at work to benefit the local community.

      Career Highlights:

      • Implementation of the first ‘Finance Efficiency Application’ (2014) automating entering daily payments received and saving the team many hours of manual data entry.
      • Leading people and helping them be their best selves by recognising their strengths and achievements and encouraging them to think forwards.
      • Taking on management of the Finance Systems team, which required upskilling with technical skills including SQL (thank goodness for the internet!).
      • Leading the development and implementation of the Volunteer Accounting System project with a successful pilot program in 2019.

      Phip Hughes

      Paramedic Special Operations

      Time in service: 14 years

      Biography: Phip joined St John WA in 2006 as a Student Ambulance Officer.  Phip is qualified in confined space rescue (CSR), urban search and rescue (USAR) and with the Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT).

      Phip has since joined the Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) in the Australasian Road Rescue Organisation (ARRO) competition in Dubbo.  She also assisted with repatriation of an Australian citizen from China due to Corona virus with AUSMAT.  Phip also has assisted with multiple USAR deployments with DFES.

      Career Highlights:

      • Training secondment to St John WA’s College of Pre-hospital Care
      • Working as a Clinical Support Paramedic



      St. John Ambulance - Northern Territory

      Katrina Smith

      Duty Manager, Ambulance Operations

      Time in service: 5 years

      Biography: Prior to joining St John NT, Katrina managed medical clinics while completing her Paramedical degree and has previously worked in roles which have taken her to Christmas Island and Naru as well as various places within Australia. 

      Her current role as Duty Manager provides an opportunity to contribute and influence change and improvement in the ambulance service. Katrina enjoys being able to manage and direct a chaotic scene whilst safeguarding her team ensuring they have a safe environment to work. Leading and inspiring team members to be more and achieve more is important to her as a manager. 

      Katrina experiences career highlights everyday as she helps people in their most vulnerable moments. She enjoys meeting a variety of people and hearing their fascinating life stories whilst helping them. 

      Katrina enjoys getting people together to have fun, skydiving and LOVES animals.

      Career Highlights: Katrina has been an acting Duty Manager for some time and was successful in her application to the role full time as of September 2019. Katrina recently stepped into the Ambulance Support Coordinator role whilst we were recruiting to the position full time and has worked hard and diligently to ensure that senior leadership and staff have been supported in their roles.

      Jhouanna “Jhoan” Maya

      People and Culture Business Partner

      Time in service: 1 year

      Biography: Jhoan first worked for St John NT through an agency before taking fulltime employment in February 2019. Interested in a challenging role, Jhoan saw the potential in the systems and procedures that needed to be established at St John and the opportunity to demonstrate how Human Resources could work as a strategic partner to the organisation.

      Originally from the Philippines, Jhoan has found moving to Australia has enabled her to advance her career of studies and enjoys working with a supportive manager and team. When not at work, she enjoys travelling, water sports and spending time with her family.

      Career Highlights: Since commencing employment with St John NT in February 2019, Jhouanna has been instrumental in the implementation of the new HRIS Connx. She has managed the project from the ground up and taken ownership to provide an innovative and quality service. Jhouanna has demonstrated the dedication required to bring the organisation and department forward helping to improve HR processes.

      Sara Gleeson

      Training Manager

      Time in service: 1 year

      Biography: Sara joined St John NT just over a year ago as the Training Manager for First Aid courses across the Northern Territory. Having previously worked in training for private companies in Darwin and Brisbane, St John’s underlying purpose of helping and caring for others and educating people with skills that are critical attracted her to the role. Sara enjoys working with her team and finds the feedback they receive from the public, saying that they are confident in their skills and have found St John to deliver high quality training, to be very satisfying.

      Career Highlights: A career highlight for Sara was an opportunity to facilitate sessions as part of the Territory’s October Business Month.

      She constantly puts herself and her team forward for new opportunities and developments. She is passionate about her role in the organisation and ways in which she can progress opportunities for St John NT in training. She is progressive and forward thinking.

      Taleaha Dawson

      ECC - Quality Assurance and Improvement Officer

      Time in service: 4 years

      Biography: Taleaha started her professional career in the Northern Territory mining industry, where she worked her way from Administrator, to Safety Advisor/Emergency Response Coordinator / Industrial Paramedic.

      She joined St John NT four years ago as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher inspired by the opportunity to serve her community and assist people in their time of greatest need.  Taleaha finds imparting knowledge and skills onto others to be a very rewarding part of her role and includes in her career highlights developing the St John NT quality assurance and improvement program, which focuses on strength-based and knowledge improving methodologies.

      She has also assisted in recognizing ECC members for their amazing work, through the development of acknowledgement programs for the ECC, she is a member of the Women in Leadership Working Group, Dispatch Steering Committee, Clinical Quality Committee and the Work Health and Safety Representative for St John ECC and JESCC for NTPFES.

      Taleaha is also currently studying a Bachelor of Nursing.

      Career Highlights: Over the last twelve months, Taleaha has been instrumental in incorporating change into the Emergency Communication Centre, its processes and systems. Taleaha has played a key role in the quality assurance of the Centre and is passionate about developing our organisation and staff.

      Nicole Johnston

      Day Duty Manager Operations – Northern

      Time in service: 9 years

      Biography: Nicole began her career as a Trainee Paramedic in 2011 following on from working as a secondary Physical Education teacher.

      Although she really enjoyed her job in teaching and knew that education was always a career she could always fall back into, Nicole was interested in a different career that was active, physical and involved a lot of interaction with people. She thought that being a Paramedic sounded super interesting but had no idea on how to go about getting into the profession. Some googling delivered an advertisement for Trainee Paramedic positions, so she thought she would give it a go.

      Nicole now enjoys a diverse range of opportunities within the organisation including operational logistics, welfare and staff support, Event Management and Emergency Management just to name a few.

      Her career highlights are jobs that she attends with positive patient outcomes, as well as developing new and effective processes for Ambulance operations.

      Career Highlights: Nicole has worked as a paramedic with St John NT for close to a decade. During this time, she has held a number of positions within the organisation including: Paramedic, Duty Manager, Union Representative, Mentor, Patient Education Officer. Nicole has worked in both the Central Australian and Top End regions of the Territory and has an abundance of local and cultural knowledge of people and community.

      Shaye Quinlan

      Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD)

      Time in service: 2 years

      Biography: Before joining St John (NT), Shaye worked in retail while studying paramedicine at Edith Cowan University.

      The role of EMD interested Shaye as it provided the opportunity to put what she was learning into practice by being more involved with ambulance operations. She also loved the idea of helping others, contributing to her community and trying to make a difference. 

      Shaye enjoys feeling as that she has made a difference when she gets off the phone or dispatches a complex case.

      A career highlight has been helping a family with a fitting child and receiving a card including a picture drawn by the young boy and an update saying he was going to be ok. Outside of work she describes herself as a “big dog person” and has two staffies who she would do anything for.

      Career Highlights: Over the last two years she has demonstrated her potential for frontline leadership and has been proactive in identifying where she can progress her career.  



      ACT Ambulance

      Andrea Nailer

      Ambulance Paramedic

      Time in service: 4 years

      Biography: Ms Nailer commenced with the ACT Ambulance Service in 2016 as a lateral Ambulance Paramedic.

      She completed her dual Paramedic and Nursing degree in 2012 from Queensland University of Technology and was employed as an Advanced Care Paramedic with Queensland Ambulance Service from January 2012 until her move to the ACT. During her time in Queensland, Andrea worked in both the metro area in Brisbane as well as Far North Queensland.

      Throughout her ambulance career, Andrea has demonstrated a high level of patient care across a broad range of challenging environments and diverse communities.  She has enthusiastically undertaken mentoring roles for not only university students but also in the Indigenous Cadet program with QAS and with graduate ambulance paramedics in the ACT.

      Andrea is passionate about her service in the pre-hospital industry and maintains a level of professionalism which is a standout amongst her peers. 

      Career Highlights:

      • Mentoring not only university students but also in the Indigenous Cadet program with QAS and graduate paramedics in the ACT.



      Ambulance Tasmania

      Lucy Oatley

      Intensive Care Paramedic

      Time in service: 3 years

      Biography: Over the last five years Lucy has been a paramedic with Queensland Ambulance Service and Ambulance Tasmania (AT). She has proven clinical and leadership skills, the beginnings of which could well be traced back to her roles in Surf Lifesaving Australia and the Australian Air Force Cadets. During her time as a paramedic, Lucy has also undertaken a Master of Advanced Paramedicine, has worked as tutor and marker at the University of Tasmania and as a clinical demonstrator with the Queensland University of Technology. She has developed a reputation within these universities as an enthusiastic educator with an ability to tailor communication and teaching strategies as required.

      An intelligent, driven and successful paramedic, who strives for excellence across the board -  whether this be at work when assessing and treating patients or leading pre-hospital medical teams; at university challenging students to engage with curious minds; outside of work voluntarily organising professional and inter-professional development opportunities for peers; or in her own time running, surfing and exploring the Tasmanian wilderness. The reason for her nomination extends beyond her obvious successes. This is particularly true for female paramedics as they embark on a career in a field that has, until recently, been male dominated.

      Career Highlights: Successfully juggled qualifying as an intensive care paramedic alongside running journal club sessions with the Tasmanian branch of Paramedics Australasia and helping organise the 2019 Paramedics Australasia International Conference as a member of the scientific committee. She presented at two conferences and was selected to represent Ambulance Tasmania and the Tasmania Fire Service in the 2019 Australasian Rescue Challenge. Lucy’s team was awarded the best medical team overall and won a place to compete in the 2020 World Rescue Organisation competition. Lucy’s passion and determination extends to her extracurricular activities, where she also represents ambulance. In 2018 she was the fastest uniformed officer and fastest female paramedic to compete in the Eureka stair climb.

      Georgina Renshaw

      Intensive Care Paramedic

      Time in service: 32 years


      • Commenced hospital-based nurse education in 1982 and became a Registered Nurse in 1985.
      • Joined Tasmanian Ambulance Service in 1988.
      • There were only 4 women in the Tasmanian Ambulance Service at that time.
      • Obtained Certificate of Applied Science (Ambulance) in 1991.
      • Completed vehicular rescue and rescue from heights in 1991.
      • Became an accredited assessor for Road Accident Rescue in 1992.
      • Became an Intensive Care Paramedic in 1992.
      • First women to ever join the rotary wing rescue helicopter as a paramedic in Tasmania in 1993 requiring a rigorous fitness regime.
      • In 1995 commenced the inaugural Bachelor of Health Science offered in Tasmania through Charles Sturt University. 34 people commenced and only 8 graduated in 1998.  Georgie thus became one of the first tertiary educated paramedics in Australia.
      • A single mum who raised two children while working full time and maintaining wilderness rescue accreditation often involving cases late off shift and overnight stays in remote areas.
      • Obtained Certificate III Helicopter Rescue Crewman.
      • In 2011 became a Branch Station Officer at Kingston whilst simultaneously maintaining accreditation as a wilderness paramedic.
      • Achieved Chief Executive Officer commendation for contribution to wilderness in 2014.
      • Left wilderness 2013 after 20 years as a Tasmania’s only female wilderness/rotary wing paramedic.

      Career Highlights:

      • Full time officer whilst raising a family.
      • First woman to work in the rotary wing, wilderness rescue squad with 20 years outstanding service.
      • Winched herself and a patient off a cruise ship at Maria Island.
      • First ever utilisation of ‘night sun’ for night vision helicopter flying, for a night time entry and landing at Cradle Mountain.
      • Participated in an incident with the Tasmania Police Bomb Squad to disable a marine mine on the South Coast Track.
      • Winched a family of three generations, (Grandfather, son and grandson) PLUS the family dog who were lost.
      • 204 cases and 1000 hours flying time with the rescue helicopter.

      Michelle Maree Izard

      Senior Project Officer – HEMS

      Time in service: 19 years

      Biography: Michelle Izard began her career as a Paramedic with Ambulance Victoria in 2001 coming from a background as a Haematology Scientist.  In 2011 Michelle joined Ambulance Tasmania and shortly after became one of the first Duty Managers in the State Operations Centre.  Throughout this time Michelle has performed a variety of different roles from Manager – SOC, project officer of several projects, completing her Master of Public Health and Professional Honours (Public Sector Management Leadership), among others and all while becoming a dedicated mother and wife.

      Often the best people are the ones that go about their jobs quietly and do their jobs so well that others are given no reason to know they are there.  Michelle does fit into this category of people. 

      Due to her impeccable work ethics, honesty, integrity and clear and sensible decision making, along with her commitment to doing the best by AT, continued education and desire to provide the best service possible, Michelle is often the person in AT that people go to for reliable, no-nonsense advice and leadership.  Michelle continues to work hard to develop her skills for Ambulance Tasmania and is being identified as a leader in the organisation.

      Career Highlights:

      • Senior Project Officer HEMS
      • Acting Manager State Operations Centre
      • Duty Manger State Operations Centre
      • Project officer for implementation of ESCAD
      • Project officer, Operational Restructure and Roster Reform
      • A participant in the professional honours (Public Sector Management).
      • National medal recipient
      • Masters in Public Health & Tropical Medicine
      • BSC with Honours in Medical Laboratory Science

      Erica Hodkinson

      Team Leader State Operations Centre

      Time in service: 21 years


      • Role of Critical Incident Stress Management Peer, Ambulance Tasmania for the past four years.
      • Gained employment at St John’s Park trained to be an Auxiliary Nurse in 1987.
      • Became a Volunteer Ambulance Officer at Dodges Ferry 1989 which included being part of the then Primrose Sands Auxiliary responding in her own car as part of St John’s Ambulance.
      • Moved to Kingston and became a Volunteer Ambulance Officer with the Tasmanian Ambulance Service for 18 months in 1993.
      • Joined Ambulance Tasmania (then TAS) in 1993 as a State-wide Communications Officer.
      • Moved to Amsterdam for a year 1998 then returned to nursing in Launceston as a Trained Auxiliary Nurse for a short time.
      • Moved to Hobart in December 1999 and obtained a position in the State Communications Centre as a day worker working Monday to Friday 0830 -16.30.
      • Became full time as a Senior Communications Officer in 2001
      • 2012 Received a National Service Medal when Communications staff were recognised as eligible.
      • Promoted to Team Leader in 2015.

      Career Highlights:

      • Worked in the days when there were only three call taker/dispatchers. Now, according to Erica ‘there are nearly as many as North West Region’.
      • Has seen the transition to new State-wide Communications Centre in Brisbane Street.
      • Always mentored new employees.
      • Supported new Duty Managers (Communications) in 2012.
      • Been a role model and supported junior staff.
      • Provides sage advice.
      • Is a technical expert.
      • Worked on a six-month project to introduce Non-Emergency Patient Transport to the Communications Centre in 2012.
      • Arranges social events.
      • In 1996 was one of only three Communications Officers when the Mass shooting occurred at Port Arthur.
        • “The worst part was knowing he was moving, and we were sending Volunteer Ambulance Officers in….and he was moving… with a gun.”
        • Had to call her netball team that day and say she might miss the game that night. She did eventually make the game, but her team players commented that she was ‘particularly aggressive’ that night.  She didn’t tell them why.
        • Erica remembers with humour, that while their peers in the Police Radio Room were provided with meals from the Ocean Child (a local hotel) that day… She and her two partners received ‘a Boston Bun from Purity’….


      Debra Salter

      Manager – Strategy and Projects

      Time in service: 2 years

      Biography: Deb has been in the role of Manager – Strategy and Projects with Ambulance Tasmania since February 2018.

      Deb’s role includes:

      • Being responsible for supporting the Chief Executive – Ambulance Tasmania (CE) through the provision of specialist advice regarding strategic and policy issues impacting on the effective delivery of ambulance services in Tasmania.
      • Providing authoritative advice and recommendations to the CE regarding strategic and policy issues, based on comprehensive research and critical analysis, including financial and resource implications, and with consideration of Departmental, State and national priorities.
      • Prepares and reviews high level correspondence, reports and submissions for the CE, Departmental Executive, portfolio Ministers and Cabinet, within stringent timeframes.
      • Leads and manages projects to facilitate implementation of strategy and policy across AT, the Department of Health and Tasmanian Health Service as appropriate, ensuring effective change management and achievement of required milestones and outputs within allocated timeframes, resources and budget.
      • Provides comprehensive oversight of Ambulance Tasmania projects, including more recently the Fatigue Management Project.
      • Plays a critical role in the organisation of incoming and outgoing correspondence from the Office of the Chief Executive, including Department, Secretary and Ministerial documents.

      Career Highlights: Has made significant contribution to the reorganisation and restructure of Human Resources services for Ambulance Tasmania.

      • Assisted with the implementation of ESCAD and structural reform of the communications centre.
      • Assisted with the development and implementation of the Ambulance Tasmania Mental Health and Wellbeing Program.
      • Provided a coordinated approach to Work Health and Safety, including re-establishing the State-wide Work Health and Safety Committee.
      • Established and is the Chair of the Workforce Planning Meeting.
      • Engages and consults with a diverse range of key stakeholder including Government Departments and the Health and Community Services Union, and coordinates activity to achieve mutually agreeable outcomes.

      Kerri Garth

      Project Officer – Community AED Program

      Time in service: 10 years


      Project Officer – Community AED Program, December 2019 – June 2020

      Executive Support Officer Ambulance Tasmania, March 2010 – December 2019

      • Manage the efficient operation of the office of the Chief Executive - Ambulance Tasmania including the provision of high-level executive and administrative support to the Chief Executive.
      • Coordinate the preparation of complex and confidential documentation, undertake research for Ministerial and Question Time Briefs, Freedom of Information requests and provide background notes for matters relating to the activities of the Branch.
      • Develop system and protocols, which ensure an efficient flow of information to and from the office of the Chief Executive, including drafting routine correspondence and making independent decisions on workflow.

      Business Manager, Tasmanian Medical Retrieval Service, July 2013 – February 2015

      Office of the Secretary, Ministerial Liaison Officer

      Media Unit Media Liaison Officer

      Executive Support Officer – Dep Secretary, Health and Hospitals – Directorate Jan 2007 - July 2008

      Career Highlights: Coordinates many activities for Ambulance Tasmania including Award Recognition Services. Speech writing for various award ceremonies and events.

      St. John New Zealand

      Mitch Mullooly

      Chair of the Australasian College of Paramedicine / Paramedic

      Time in service: 19 years

      Biography: Mitch Mullooly has spent more than two decades in the pre-hospital medical environment, working in a diverse spread of metropolitan, rural and remote locations in New Zealand.  Mitch does an outstanding job on raising physical, mental health and wellbeing awareness across the ambulance service, advocates for paramedics through the paramedic association, is a great role model for health and wellbeing.  Mitch helps emergency responders reverse the negative effects of physical and psychological fatigue to become fit for duty and fit for life. 

      Mitch is an avid social media guru and runs a great Facebook group, yammer, LinkedIn etc.  Mitch is a trailblazer and has been strategically involved in the implementation of Paramedic Registration.  Mitch is involved in numerous strategic meetings nationally for St John NZ Clinical Governance. 

      Career Highlights: not provided

      Michelle Brett

      Right Care Advisor Hauora Māori

      Time in service: Over 30 years  (8 years 7 months in a paid capacity)

      Biography: Michelle is an operational volunteer on both Ashburton and Mayfield Stations in Mid-Canterbury and when not travelling for her paid role within St John, commits to at least one - two night shifts per week and sometimes also weekend shifts – depends on whether there are gaps in the roster, particularly in Mayfield where the team is rural and smaller. 

      Michelle is seen as a key advisor, both in the South Island and Nationally, for correct protocols and process regarding Maoritanga for ceremonial occasions and travels across New Zealand each year to support our commitment to bi-culturalism and the Treaty of Waitangi. Michelle’s support extends to Investitures, funerals, National Youth Festivals, and last year for the Asia -Pacific Regional St John conference.

      No matter where Michelle is needed, she goes. She has been known to sleep in her car just to keep costs down for the organisation, as she lives our values so personally. Michelle goes where she is needed – and she has been the trailblazer and catalyst in starting St John on our cultural competence journey.

      Career Highlights: Michelle is an operational volunteer on both Ashburton and Mayfield Stations in Mid-Canterbury and when not travelling for her paid role within St John, commits to at least one - two night shifts per week and sometimes also weekend shifts – depends on whether there are gaps in the roster, particularly in Mayfield where the team is rural and smaller. 

      Michelle is seen as a key advisor, both in the South Island and Nationally, for correct protocols and process regarding Maoritanga for ceremonial occasions and travels across New Zealand each year to support our commitment to bi-culturalism and the Treaty of Waitangi. Michelle’s support extends to Investitures, funerals, National Youth Festivals, and last year for the Asia -Pacific Regional St John conference.  No matter where Michelle is needed, she goes. She has been known to sleep in her car just to keep costs down for the organisation, as she lives our values so personally. Michelle goes where she is needed – and she has been the trailblazer and catalyst in starting St John on our cultural competence journey.

      Without Michelle, St John would be a lesser place. There are very few people who have the breadth of knowledge Michelle has about our organisation – she has been a key member of the Youth and Community Programmes team, operations and clinical team, Tahuhu and Maori Advisor team and her efforts have been nationwide.

      In 2010 and 2011 she supported her local community from an overall St John perspective as Mid-Canterbury was hard hit with that event, and where possible she gave commitment clinically, supported welfare of the membership especially from a Youth perspective. Michelle was more involved in the recovery afterwards especially once she became a manager.   

      Michelle was very heavily involved in the North Canterbury Earthquake in November 2016, and particularly provided support in Kaikoura, ensuring that St John was able to support the people in the local community, including tourists.  She particularly worked with the local Marae who provided significant welfare support to the town during and in the days following the main earthquake.

      Adele Saunders


      Time in service: 2 years

      Biography: Adele provides for St John a level of expertise and professional support that has guided us through some very serious and significant events, most notably these included the horrific attack on two mosques in Christchurch in March 2019 where significant numbers of people were injured and killed by an armed attacker. The scene of the attacks and the nature of the injuries was something we hope never to expect our people to witness, Adele and her colleagues managed an exceptional wrap around support package – including counselling and psychological assessments; debriefing sessions; interviews with the many media interest; supporting our people through many community events and presentations; ongoing support and continuous welfare arrangements. Following this incident at the end of last year we also experienced a horrific incident on Whakaari, White Island, with a volcanic eruption – again with a scene that many people were affected by and the wrap around support again was outstanding.

      In between the more notable major incidents our people are exposed to both occupational trauma as well as in their personal lives, Adele and our peer support team never fail to respond with the right level of support which is developed to meet the needs of the individuals.

      Adele has presented to our executive team on a programme to improve our peer support, an investment that required a significant business case and pilot roll out – the feedback has been exceptional we have many direct quotes which include the course being life changing for both the peer supporters and also those that they can now offer support to.

      Adele is also incredibly approachable, down to earth, has a great sense of humour and a level of empathy and connection which instantly creates a safe and trusting space for people to feel supported. She is outstanding and St John would not have developed so far in such a short period of time without her tenacity and drive.

      Career Highlights: When Adele started at St John, we had a peer support model which had been in place since 1993 and over time the training and supervisions had dwindled. Adele realised that St John needed to find a model that both fits our needs and provides our Peer Support Stage with the best tools to assist their colleagues and first responders.  Adele identified geographical, staff and operational similarities between St John New Zealand and Queensland Ambulance Service and identified that their peer support model was worth considering in NZ.  Adele consequently went on to re-establish a revised peer support providing including robust training for supervisors and is working towards attracting more people throughout the organisation into the peer support role.

      Adele has also been instrumental in initiating welfare support with a number of trauma events that we’ve had in St John over the last year: death of a youth member at a St John camp, Mosque attacks’s in Christchurch and White Island eruption.

      Nissy Concisom

      Community Programs Manager

      Time in service: 6 years

      Biography: Nissy’s dedication to our organisation has been proven through her many voluntary and paid roles, particularly within the Youth and Community Health Services teams. She is constantly looking at improving services and she stands out amongst her peers by her willingness to involve the Order of St John. She has displayed her dedication to the Order through constantly seeking to ensure its involvement in awards presentations, new initiatives and welfare issues.

      Not only does she undertake her role to a high standard, but she is also willing to go the extra mile to ensure she supports significant events in the Northern Region calendar, by attending awards ceremonies, investitures and significant funerals, always offering her support to the event organisers. Nissy is also active in the Honours nomination process and is constantly looking at nomination members who deserve recognition.

      Nissy is totally focused on supporting her volunteers and she remains a fantastic example of our values. She is also active in the Volunteer Support Group and the Women’s leadership council. She was also instrumental in the expansion of the Health Shuttle service in Northern Region prior to relinquishing this role in early 2019.

      Nissy is a member of the next generation Rotary club and is very active with her local church. 

      Career Highlights: It is through Nissy’s hard work that every Emergency Department in Northern Region has a successful FEDs programme. This results in a huge amount of goodwill generated in the New Zealand hospital system towards St John, as well as a huge number of patients cared for by St John.

      Nissy has been instrumental in setting up and delivering the Migrant Coffee Group and the launch of a caring caller service in Hindi, which is a social group that brings St John members and isolated migrants together to tackle social isolation. This has the effect of involving previously isolated groups into society as well as spreading awareness and support of St John in different communities.

      Liz Beavon

      Centre Operations Manager

      Time in service: 5 years

      Biography: Liz has been with St John NZ for 5 years and has many years of experience in the Communications centers setting both in Ambulance and in the Police service both in a “man’s world”.

      Her technical expertise and leadership style of support and nurturing of staff is astounding. She has a nurturing nature but also shows courage when required.

      Career Highlights: She is a rock for her team and she led her team through the day and subsequent days following the Christchurch terrorist attack and her staff survey reflect the happy team that surrounds her in Christchurch.

      Olive Taylor

      A/Assistant Director Operations – Clinical Communications Services

      Time in service: 17 years

      Biography: Olive has been part of the control room team based in Auckland for 16 years.  Both her deep understanding of systems and processes in this setting and her passion to improve the quality of the critical part of the incident response is exemplary. She quietly gets on with her work and is very humble and self-effacing in her leadership style.

      Olive is currently the Acting Assistant Director of CCS and is always happy to come into the CCS setting day or night when needed to help her colleagues and support the smooth running of this function.

      Career Highlights: Olive was principally responsible from a CCC perspective for the successful implementation of a national CAD system update. Whilst she worked with a project team, it was her extensive knowledge of the systems that ensured issues were identified and addressed. She was instrumental in the implementation of the HTS CAD system, which was introduced to enhance PTS dispatch. During this time, Olive gave far and above the call of duty, working long hours and over many months making herself available day and night to address concerns, meet deadlines, and liaise with overseas vendors at times that fitted their business hours.



      Wellington Free Ambulance

      Sarah Sundgren

      Extended Care Paramedic

      Time in service: 15 years

      Biography: I joined the team at Wellington Free in 2003 with a degree in paramedicine and now a Post Graduate Certificate in Advanced Speciality Care. I now work on the road as an Extended Care Paramedic within the Urgent Community Care team, with a focus on treating patients in their own home or community.

      She is one the most qualified members of clinical staff as an Intensive Care Paramedic and Extended Care Paramedic, two incredibly skilled and challenging roles. She is a well-respected role model by her peers and has continually been supportive of her colleagues, either as a teammate or in her role as Peer Supporter.

      Sarah is community minded and is one of the driving forces behind the purchase and installation of publicly accessible AEDs within the community she lives. As the Chief Fire Officer for Waikanae Volunteer Fire Brigade, Sarah and her team have also spent countless hours providing free community training sessions in CPR and the use of AEDs.

      As well as my roles at Wellington Free both on the road and as a Peer Supporter, I’m also the Chief Fire Officer of Waikanae Volunteer Fire Brigade, receiving my 25-year gold star service award in 2018.  

      She always puts the patient at the centre of all she does and excels at making plans, exploring pathways and working with the patient and their family to ensure the best outcome for all. Sarah embodies the core values of the organisation and continues to develop herself with ongoing learning and education to ensure the next experience for her patient is even better.

      Career Highlights:

      • Making a difference as part of a taskforce deployment to Christchurch post the February 2011 earthquake.
      • Attaining Intensive Care Paramedic qualification.
      • Nominated for Women of Influence Award in 2017
      • Being appointed Chief Fire Officer of the Waikanae volunteer Fire brigade in 2017
      • Receiving ‘Employee of the Year’ award at the 2019 Wellington Free Ambulance awards ceremony and a finalist in the ‘Above and Beyond’ category.
      • Being in a position to see the positive outcomes patients have when members of the public use the knowledge and skills they have gained from community-based CPR/AED sessions.

      Laura Robertson

      Extended Care Paramedic, A/Specialist Teams Manager

      Time in service: 9 years

      Biography: I started Wellington Free as a volunteer event medic and slowly worked through completing my paramedicine degree and internship before becoming a permanent staff member.

      I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to challenge for my extended care paramedic authority to practice and increase my skills to help keep patients in the community.

      In 2018 I became a relief shift manager, which required looking after a group of 30 staff and the operational running of the ambulance service when the permanent manager was on leave.

      In late 2019 I had the opportunity to change completely from shift work to a Monday to Friday role as the Specialist Team Manager, this complimented my lifestyle as I was training for an IronMan at the time and will remain in this role until May 2020.

      Laura makes every effort to catch up with her staff in person to make sure she is able to communicate with them effectively and show that she is genuinely interested in them and the work they do. When Laura works on the road, she is a fierce advocate for her patients. Even before she was an ECP, she was constantly trying to refer patients out of ED, involving family, working hard to ensure the patient is fully involved in their own care.

      Aside from work, Laura is training for an IronMan which takes a huge amount of time commitment, as well as sheer personal determination. Laura is a fantastic role model for many staff and absolutely deserves recognition for this.

      Career Highlights:

      - Joining the team at Wellington Free, a boutique ambulance service, in a permanent role.

      - Opportunity to be a shift manager and elevate my skills and leadership beyond my time as road crew.

      - Opportunity to lead the specialist teams and work closely with other agencies

      Vanessa Simpson

      Relationship & Development Manager, Executive Office

      Time in service: 15 years

      Biography: Vanessa Simpson is an executive leader with Wellington Free Ambulance, New Zealand and holds authority to practice as an extended care paramedic with over 16 year’s clinical experience. Vanessa is also a Director/Board member of the Capital and Coast District Health Board.

      Recently Vanessa has led the Relationship & Development team with responsibility to foster clinical relationships with key stakeholders primarily to achieve seamless care for our patients.

      Career Highlights: A recent highlight was the development of a co-design pop-up in the Wairarapa that has gained regional recognition as a model to emulate for patient, stakeholder and community engagement.

      Tayla Short

      Team Manager, Clinical Communications Centre

      Time in service: 6 years

      Biography: I have worked at Wellington Free for 6 years, started in a data entry support role before moving to become a call taker, an EAS and PTS dispatcher and then a Team Manager in 2019. I am one of four Managers in the Clinical Communication Centre and have been in my seat just over a year. I mentor, coach and support my team and help them develop to reach their full potential.

      Tayla is truly deserving of this nomination as she exemplifies a modern woman leader. She is fully in touch with her staff’s needs, both personal and work related and blends these with ease, without dropping any standards. She is dynamic and energetic in her leadership and nothing is too much effort. 

      Career Highlights: I have been nominated twice for Australasian Dispatcher of the Year award, once in 2016 and again in 2019. I am very proud to work for a service so unique like ours and to represent us at such events is a real honour.

      Becoming a Team Manager is probably one of my biggest highlights as I get to develop an amazing team every day! I actively keep up all of my skills, coming in on extra shifts to maintain my call taking and dispatching abilities. For me this is a priority to ensure I can better support my team but understanding their roles and challenges. Seeing them take on knowledge I have learnt and apply it to themselves, whilst maintaining my skill set is critical to being an authentic leader.

      Natasha Ellis

      Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Quality Improvement Unit

      Time in service: 8 years

      Biography: I have worked in the Wellington Free Clinical Communications Centre for 8 years, starting as a Call Taker in 2012. Since then, I have worked as a Call Taker Mentor for new staff and a PTS dispatcher. More recently, my role as Quality Improvement Coordinator for Call Taking has moved me into the Quality Improvement Team, reviewing 111 calls to the Communication Centre and providing training and feedback to staff.

      Tash’s nomination is of no surprise and well justified. She is a quiet source of strength in her leadership style. She is a font of all knowledge in the workplace and people look to her for guidance and advice every day. She is an inspiration to new staff who can see what she has achieved and want to emulate her award winning, international success.

      Career Highlights: There have been many highlights in my time at Wellington Free. Supporting people in their most difficult time such as delivering babies over the phone or coaching people in CPR has been extremely rewarding. A big highlight was winning the Australasia Dispatcher of the Year award in 2018. I was very humbled and proud to be recognised my work.

      Kate Worthington

      Acting Healthcare Services Director/Learning and Development Manager

      Time in service: 16 years

      Biography: My passion for Paramedicine can be traced back to my pre-professional days. Whether helping my nana with the daily rounds at her rest home or volunteering medical assistance at sporting events I’ve been on a paramedic path from the start. The reason? The Paramedicine career is incredibly fulfilling and teeming with courageous, energetic and compassionate people.

      Outside the office I am committed to ongoing education and have a passion for cooking often using my teenage sons as guinea pigs. Conscious of keeping fit you’ll often find me in a spin class or trying to become a runner in one of my local parks!

      Career Highlights:

      - Being one of the first women in Wellington Free to be trained as a helicopter paramedic

      - Being in a trusted position to be the voice to advocate for patients and their whānau.



      St John Ambulance, Papua New Guinea

      Rachelle Morehari

      Director of Service Planning, Implementation and Performance

      Time in service: 2 years

      Biography: Rachelle Morehari is the Director of Service Planning, Implementation and Performance at St. John’s Ambulance PNG. In this role, Rachelle is in charge of the strategic, operational and overall resource planning which entails the coordination of the budget for the organization, implementation management of grants from development partners, government and private sector, Financial resources and special projects as well as making representation of the organization in the health sector, financial resource and planning meetings.

      Her team is also in charge of rolling out the National Ambulance Service where they advocate and work with Provincial Health Authorities that would like to set up a coordinated ambulance services within their province.

      Career Highlights: Rachelle is no stranger to the Health Sector, having spent almost 9 years in the National Department of Health of Papua New Guinea as a Policy Research Officer where she went from reporting to the Executive Manager of Corporate Services to providing support to the Deputy Secretary – National Health Policy and Corporate Services. Rachelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts majoring in Public Policy Management and Minoring in Strategic Management which she obtained from the University of Papua New Guinea.

      Jasmine Kum

      Paramedic Trainee

      Time in service: 3 years 

      Biography: Jasmine is a 32year old Paramedic Trainee who graduated with a Degree in Rural Health from the Divine Word University in the Madang Province of Papua New Guinea. After obtaining her degree in 2011, she went on to do a two-year residency training as a Resident Health Extension Officer at Vanimo General Hospital, Sanduan Province in Papua New Guinea. She then started employment as a Health Extension officer at Kavieng General Hospital for a period of two years.

      Before joining St. John’s Ambulance PNG, she worked as a Health Extension Officers with various organization during which, she found that before receiving a patient at the hospital or clinic, patients have to be first stabilized before being transported. In a country like Papua New Guinea, the response to emergency patient care was in itself lacking and not up to par. Jasmine felt that she would be more help to her community if she was skilled enough to be able to provide emergency care to people in need. With St. John’s Ambulance, she is able to do just that.

      Stephanie Pilat

      Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD)

      Time in service: 4 years NT / 6 Weeks PNG

      Biography: Stephanie, a 31-year-old Emergency Medical Dispatcher has been with the St John Ambulance in the Northern Territory (NT) for over four (4) Years. In June 2019, Stephanie spent 3 weeks with St John Ambulance PNG as a volunteer and a further 6 weeks on a secondment where she was able to design and deliver a more in-depth training and mentoring to the 111 Communications Staff comprising of call takers, dispatchers and duty operations managers.

      Having vast experience as an emergency medical dispatcher with St John NT, Stephanie assisted St John Ambulance PNG to develop written training programs and policies for the 111 Communication Staff - a task that ensures legacy and sustainability as well as planning and running training sessions and 1-on-1 staff mentoring. Stephanie loves her job as call taker and dispatcher and it showed as she easily gained a strong rapport with her entire team. She is a great asset to St John Ambulance.