Last week, two Aboriginal Ambulance Victoria (AV) paramedics, Michelle Crilly and Keyanna Hood, reunited for their first on-road shift together since they joined AV around a decade ago.
Michelle said it was also her first-ever paramedic shift working with another Aboriginal paramedic.
Ambulance Victoria paramedics Mchelle Crilly and Keyanna Hood.
“Keyanna is a close friend of mine and it’s great to have had the opportunity to work alongside her again,” she said.
“It was super exciting to work alongside another Aboriginal paramedic for the first time in my career.
The pair met at university where they were completing their paramedic studies before entering the AV cadet program eight years ago.
Now qualified paramedics, Michelle is based at Epping Branch and Keyanna at North Melbourne, following a few years at Bairnsdale Branch.
Michelle said providing these opportunities to paramedics of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background ensures a comfortable environment and cultural safety.
“Being around our people and community makes us feel comfortable, safe and protected,” she said.
“We’re both proud to show people from our communities, especially young Aboriginal kids, they can become a paramedic too – you can’t be, what you can’t see.
“It shows our community that there are Aboriginal paramedics on the road and if they call an ambulance, they have the chance to be cared for by an Aboriginal paramedic.”
Michelle and Keyanna met at university where they were completing their paramedic studies before entering the AV cadet program eight years ago.
She said these opportunities are an example of what AV is committed to through its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
“We want to create more opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to become paramedics and support them through their journey.
“I’m excited to be working towards creating an ambulance service that offers strong pathways and opportunities to staff from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.”