• 5th Oct 2023

Rapid Response Update October 2023

Rapid Response is the College’s monthly eNewsletter providing current and important information from the College.


Advocacy in Action

While much of our advocacy engagement involves behind-the-scenes discussions, meetings and papers, this month we're highlighting our public-facing engagement as these activities bring people together, providing alternative formats to explore and talk about opportunities to advance the profession.

At ACPIC23 we ran our first vox pop recording booth in which conference delegates were encouraged to have their say on issues impacting paramedicine in both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. The recordings are currently in post-production with our media partner AUDIENCED and we look forward to releasing a short video package soon.

Alecka Miles, Community Paramedic, and Tahlia Fatnowna, Project Policy Officer, at the ACPIC23 vox pop recording booth

We also recorded a new episode of Advocacy in Conversation at the conference, Framing the Framework part 1 – an Australasian perspective, with guests Dr Brendan Shannon, Head of Paramedicine Postgraduate Programs at Monash University, and Alisha McFarlane, College Member Engagement Manager, which is now available via College podcasts.

As well, members will have seen several media articles in the last month in both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Media coverage puts our advocacy messages out there in the public domain, which are seen and heard by decisions-makers, stakeholders, and health sector colleagues.


As part of the College’s continued commitment to member engagement and support, this month we welcome two new members to our Member Engagement Team.

Dr Ruchi Bhatt is our newly appointed regional engagement officer for Aotearoa New Zealand. Ruchi resides in Aotearoa and is a passionate healthcare professional who possesses a deep commitment to improving access to locally based resources and advocacy initiatives for all those working in New Zealand. Ruchi’s dedication to advancing paramedicine in Aotearoa New Zealand recognises the critical role paramedics play in the wider healthcare context and understands the importance of continuous education, research, and innovation in elevating the profession. Ruchi can be contacted on: ruchi.bhatt@paramedics.org

Justin Hirello is an experienced advanced care paramedic from Canada who now resides in Victoria, Australia. As an Advanced Care Paramedic, Justin understands the unique challenges and demands faced by those working in paramedicine. He is seeking opportunities to address these challenges and is advocating for greater recognition, educational events, and professional resources to better support College members. Justin’s commitment to continuous improvement, the fostering of a sense of community, and paramedic wellbeing has positioned him well for his new role. His contributions as Member Engagement Officer for Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia will undoubtedly contribute to the College and the future of the profession, ensuring that our members are equipped to deliver exceptional care and have a positive impact in the wider healthcare community. Justin can be contacted on: justin.hirello@paramedics.org

Both new team members will engage with various stakeholders, including paramedics, educators, policymakers, and professional organisations to advance the paramedicine profession. Through collaborative efforts, they seek to strengthen policy that will improve educational opportunities, professional advocacy and career pathways for paramedics. We welcome both Ruchi and Justin to the team and the increased support we are now able to provide to members through these appointments.

In other news, our member survey closes this week. Thank you to those who contributed to this initiative. We look forward to providing you with feedback over the coming months and to designing our teams’ objectives around the things that you have told us are important to you. Keep an eye out on our socials this month for our #parasoul campaign that kicked off on Sunday 1st October as part of the One Foot Forward campaign initiated by The Black Dog Institute in recognition of World Mental Health Month. The Paramedic Wellbeing Working Group and our Member Engagement Team hope to see many of you out and about at our many walks and runs this month as we continue to shine a light of the importance of paramedic mental health and wellbeing.


What’s new in the world of professional education?

As we take a breath after ACPIC23 and absorb all the wonderful and insightful discussions, we are even more motivated, although somewhat exhausted, to bring you more innovative and engaging ways to continue learning and developing.

First on the list is another interactive Live Symposium. If you couldn’t make it to our face-to-face conferences this year and are wondering how you will meet your eight interactive hours required for registration, then this is the answer. Over 2 days (four hours each day) we will bring you the cream-of-the-crop presentations covering all the domains of professional practice followed by interactive panel-led discussions to stimulate inquiry and facilitate peer and expert collaboration. The symposium will be delivered remotely and online on Monday 20 November and Tuesday 21 November. Keep an eye on our website for further details. This is a member-only offering.

Next, is the development of virtual and augmented reality. Our Education Team is focused on making your learning fun and relevant. Delegates at ACPIC23 were gifted VR goggles and invited to try some new learning opportunities. Overwhelmingly the feedback was very positive, with quiet excitement about the opportunity to engage in VR and AR from your own home. As we progress you will see some eLearning modules begin to include these experiences into the learning. That brings us to eLearning. New and on the immediate horizon is another trio in the neurology space. This follows on from our brain anatomy trio and introduction to stroke and delves deeply into clinical localisation. In closing, thank you to all the brilliant and talented contributors to our education purpose. If you have a special interest or skill you would like to share, please reach out to our team.


The College provides multiple opportunities to foster and build the research capacity of our members. ACPIC23 was a resounding success with a strong focus on paramedicine research and its impact on the profession. The quality of the research presentations was outstanding, and we extend a big thank you to our anonymous judges who assisted in the challenging task of selecting this year’s presentation winners. We are delighted to congratulate the following presenters in the categories below:

Poster Presentation - People's Choice Award: Ekaterina Puzanova; Poster Presentation Award: Shravan Chandramouli; 3MT Presentation Award: Lisa Hobbs; Early Career Researcher Presentation Award: Matt Wilkinson Stokes; Established Researcher Presentation Award: Dr Tim Makrides; Best of the Best, Highest Quality Research Award ACPIC 2023: Dr Alan Batt

At ACPIC23, we also had the privilege of announcing the recipients of the 2023 College Research Grants. There were three types of research grants awarded this year - Early Career Research Grant ($6,000); Higher Degree by Research Grant ($3,000); Research Dissemination and Translation Grant ($1,000). We are thrilled to congratulate the following recipients:

Research Dissemination and Translation Grant: Mostyn Gooley and Michelle Thomson. Higher Degree by Research Grant: Amanda Hlushak, Samantha Sheridan, Richard Armour, Lisa Hobbs, Rachel Irvine and Jason Betson. Early Career Research Grant: Dr Robin Pap

For those of you who have missed out on previous Talking Research webinars, all recordings are now available and count towards 1.5 CPD hours, which you can of course record in your free College CPD tracker. The next and final webinar in the Talking Research series for 2023, How to Choose a Higher Degree Research Supervisor, is scheduled for Wednesday 15 November. We will have more details about our speakers on this very important subject for you soon!

The College is committed to promoting quality research relevant to the paramedicine discipline and takes pride in fostering research at all levels within the field. If you are interested in making a valuable contribution to the profession by assisting paramedicine researchers in addressing critical questions, click here to find out more and to participate in our current research participation opportunities.


Our International Conference (ACPIC23) was held in Melbourne last month, and we were thrilled to welcome almost 400 delegates and 80 presenters to the Crown Conference Centre in Melbourne. ACPIC23 delivered content that stimulated minds and inspired paramedics to create change.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the ACPIC23 Organising Committee - Chair Lucy Oatley, Matthew Cook, Tim Andrews, Ross Salathiel, Jessica Wissa, Julie Johnson and Nigel Barr - as well as conference partner ZOLL, and sponsors Charles Sturt University, Emergency Services Health, Edith Cowan University, Laerdal, and Guild Insurance.

Our thanks also go to ACPIC23 MC Tegwyn McManamny, and the College team who worked tirelessly to make the event the success that it was.

We look forward to an even bigger and better ACPIC24!

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