Statement of Purpose
As defined by our Rules, the purposes of the Association are—
A Brief History of the Association
The history of the Australian Paramedics Association commenced in Queensland by members of the Queensland Ambulance Service who formed the Emergency Medical Services Protection Association (EMSPA) . After lengthy and productive discussions with their Queensland colleagues, it was decided to form a mirror Association in NSW. With the help, support and guidance of the executive committee of EMSPA (Qld) (now APA Queensland), an interim executive committee was set up in NSW. After much time and enthusiastic effort, the Emergency Medical Service Protection Association (NSW) Inc. (now APA NSW) came to fruition in February 2009.
Here in Victoria, a small group of Paramedics decided to investigate the possibility of providing all Ambulance Victoria (AV) Paramedics and Communications Officers, as well as Non-Emergency Patient Transport (NEPT) Officers, Ambulance Community Officers (ACOs) and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members with an alternative choice of representation. These Victorians set about exploring current organisations nationwide that represented employees within the health profession with a view to offering similar representation here in Victoria. It was found that Queensland and New South Wales Paramedics had had very similar problems and that the model of representation they had implemented was a perfect fit for Victoria.
What is today the Australian Paramedics Association (Vic) Inc. was formed as EMSPA Victoria in 2010.
The sole reason of this organisation is to create a communal fund for AV, NEPT, ACO and CERT officers to contribute to in order for them to access appropriate representation for work-based matters. All members have access to every cent in the fund should they require advice and/or representation for an ambulance work-based matter. Whatever else developed from this organisation – be it staff awareness and pro-activity, or improved communication across the state – these will be just added bonuses due to the prime objective of legal advice and representation for members.
In recent times, staff in Ambulance Victoria eagerly awaited the arrival of a much-touted major review of their working conditions. Descriptors such as ‘reform’, ‘professional status’, ‘fatigue’, ‘workload’, and ‘skills upgrades’ were all constant topics of discussion.
With the State Services Authority (SSA) review and others now behind us and with a new Award for Ambulance Paramedics in Victoria, the subsequent implementation of these sweeping changes proved to be just more disappointment to Officers who had pinned their hopes on a more equitable workplace. As the anticipation of fresh changes waned, the disappointment turned to anger and frustration. An alternate representative body was required, and the new Association was born.
The Association is a legally registered Incorporated body in Victoria and acts on behalf of its members. Whilst we share many similarities and resources with our Queensland and NSW colleagues, APA Victoria is totally autonomous and acts specifically for Victorian members.
Our aim is to always remain accessible to you, the members, and with your support we will achieve success.
- by Ken Whittle, President 2010-2013