Every single NSW Ambulance graduation event is special and holds significant importance for the new recruits, their families and the Service.
Class 22-07, which graduated at Sydney Olympic Park in August 2022, is no exception.
In fact, this cohort of 97 graduates represents a particularly special and important milestone. They are the first graduates to hit the road as part of a $1.76 billion boost to NSW Ambulance, which was announced in the NSW Government’s 2022-23 Budget.
A portion of that investment includes funding for 2,128 staff over the next four years, with this group being the first of those staff members to join our workforce.
At graduation, Paramedic Intern Megan Lawrence spoke on behalf of her class, who undertook six weeks of intense training.
“We have an amazing group of educators lead us through the program,” she said.
“Thank you for your effort, guidance and advice… and for being so welcoming. Many of us have moved from interstate and are grateful for the opportunity to begin our dream careers.
“I would like to highlight something that was said to us in week one: When you become a part of NSW Ambulance you become a part of the blue family.
"And I can confidently say we have been welcomed into the organisation with open arms. We hope to be confident and competent paramedics, and hope to be a breath of fresh air for the current workforce.”
NSW Ambulance Chief Executive, Dr Dominic Morgan ASM, also spoke to the graduates.
He offered them some sound advice as they begin their new careers.
“When you are out there on the road and not sure what the policy says, or you’re not sure what the procedure says, if you always fall back on your values you will never make a wrong decision,” he said.
“If you are always open, collaborative, respectful and empowering of other people, how can you possibly make a wrong decision? It is something (NSW Ambulance CORE values) I hope you carry with you for your entire career.”
Dr Morgan noted being a paramedic is a “serious business”, but he urged the graduates to have fun and enjoy themselves in their role, when it is appropriate to do so.
“There are lots of times where you’ve got to give yourself a break and acknowledge that from time to time you will make a mistake, and that’s not a crime…. not learning from that mistake is the crime,” he said.
“But when you are out there and you don’t have to be serious, please make sure you never forget to have fun – it’s a brilliant job.”
Along with Dr Morgan, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard also attended the graduation and spoke to the class.
The NSW Ambulance Strategic Workforce and Infrastructure Team (SWIFT) – which was established to oversee the implementation of this record $1.76 billion investment – along with NSW Ambulance’s Education team, helped ensure the graduates were ready to commence their roles as Paramedic Interns.