It is with great pleasure that I announce that I have agreed to accept a role as a co-opted member of the Board of Paramedics Australasia (PA).
PA (https://www.paramedics.org/about/) is ‘… the peak professional organisation representing practitioners who provide paramedic services to the community’. I have had the privilege of being an Honorary Fellow of PA since 2014.
The PA Constitution (rule 18.104.22.168) provides that the Board is to be made up of up to 13 Directors. Seven are elected from the members of PA; two are elected from ‘the wider community’ and both the Secretary and Treasurer are co-opted members of the Board, giving a total of 11. Rule 22.214.171.124 then says:
The Board may co-opt up to two (2) additional Directors, drawn from either the PA membership, or the wider community, for a period of up to twelve (12) months on any one occasion. These Directors must be elected by a 75 percent majority of the Board voting for this specific purpose.
It is under rule 126.96.36.199 that I have been asked to serve on the Board for the next 12 months as paramedics make the transition to registered health professionals.
It is with pleasure that I accept this role and I look forward to making a contribution to this important development in paramedic professional development. My full time working life began in 1988 when I commenced employment as a probationary ambulance officer with NSW Ambulance. It is nice, now, to be offered the opportunity to use the expertise that I have developed in nearly 30 years as a lawyer and academic, in direct and practical service to my original profession.
As a member of the Board of PA I may be limited in my ability, on this blog, to discuss matters that are being considered by, or have been adopted by, the PA Board. Subject to that I intend to retain my independence and to continue to comment on, and answer questions relating to, paramedic and ambulance service practice.
I look forward to making a contribution to the development of paramedicine over the next 12 months.
You’re a worthy board member, may you do justice to the position.
Your appointment fills me with keen anticipation and confidence over the coming registration of paramedics.
Thank you for your hard work, we really appreciate our commitment.
Congratulations on your appointment Michael.You will do a fine job with your expertise. PA Board will benefit greatly.
Not sure what this will achieve 1 step closer to leaving PA
Sorry John? Are you saying my appointment takes you one step closer to leaving PA? Why is that?
Not specifically yours but the increasing number of non operational paramedics who are being appointed to the board have caused me to lose interest in the organisation.
I have often asked and been ignored as to why we have non paramedics as part of running this organisation and what value do they bring. I have seen no advantage what so ever.
Registration will bring absolutely nothing apart from cost and a significant number of those who will have a major influence over my working life have no ambulance background. No one has been able to tell me how they were appointed and why would no paramedics want to control both PA and registration.
John, here are some reflections. Members from the wider community are important because paramedics work for, and are part of, the broader community. An organisation that is inward looking and doesn’t have the advantage of an external viewpoint can fail to see how the community impacts upon the profession, and how the profession impacts upon the community they serve. If the board was made up only of operational paramedics it would run the danger of becoming an ‘echo chamber’ with people with similar outlook reinforcing their own opinions and not seeing an issue or challenge before it becomes a threat.
As for the board, if you look at the membership of the old board (the website hasn’t been updated since the AGM that was only last week) you will see that everyone other than the community members either are, or have been, operational paramedics (https://www.paramedics.org/board/). Perhaps you mean the paramedicine board, but there too everyone but the community members has been or is a paramedic (http://www.paramedicineboard.gov.au/About/Board-members.aspx).
As for how they were appointed the PA Constitution tells you that 7 members were elected. Two (the secretary and treasurer) were co-opted and occasionally someone like me can be co-opted to bring their particular skill and experience to the Board. We live in a specialised world. Paramedics may be experts in out of hospital emergency health care but that does not make them specialists in issues such as corporate governance, government policy or law. An organisation like PA can and should bring in experts in those fields to manage itself and to bring to bear those skills to advance the interests of paramedics.
Whether registration will bring advantages or not is a matter that can be debated. One of the hoped for advantages is that it is the profession – via the Board – that will have greater say in the future directions of the profession, setting both educational and professional practice standards. This will reduce the control of state ambulance services that are not the sole employer of paramedics and are, in turn,
governed by the relevant state or territory health or emergency services department and they, in turn, are run by non-paramedics.
I am not a paramedic but I have been involved with paramedicine for many years. I do not intend to, nor want to control PA or the profession. I want to make a contribution. Presumably the board recognises that although I am not a paramedic practitioner I do have skills to offer. Hopefully you see that too, else you would not be reading this blog?
Congratulations Michael on your appointment. Yours is a highly informed and reasonable voice.