More graduate paramedics hit road for AV

A new cohort of paramedics are hitting the road for Ambulance Victoria (AV), with 178 graduate paramedics joining the ranks this financial year.

Based all over the state, the Graduate Ambulance Paramedics (GAP) undertake the 12-month Graduate Ambulance Paramedic program that sees them become fully credentialed.

Under the program, GAPs are supervised by a clinical instructor who helps them transition from the classroom to the ‘real world’ and integrate into day-to-day team responsibilities and activities.

Get to know some of our new grads!

Tayla Manning – Graduate at Wonthaggi branch

A woman in Ambulance Victoria uniform taking a selfie in front of a wallOriginally from Cheltenham, Victoria, Tayla has been on road at the Wonthaggi Branch since mid-September.

When reflecting on her time with AV so far, Tayla said she couldn’t fault the people or the experiences.

“I decided to become a paramedic because I’ve always wanted to help people and be that person who calmly walks into a scene and instantly makes people feel reassured and safe,” she said.

“I’m absolutely loving being a paramedic, everyone is so supportive and encouraging. The team is always willing to help me learn and grow and they have made me feel welcomed.”

When she’s not providing health care to the community, Tayla can be found on the footy field pursuing her other passion of being an Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) / Victorian Football League (VFL) Goal Umpire.

Julian Zhang – Graduate at Numurkah branch

A man in Ambulance Victoria uniform gives a thumbs up to the camera from inside an ambulanceDescribing the town as historical, charming, community-spirited and lively, Julian is really enjoying his time in Numurkah so far.

After always wanting a fast-paced job centred around his passion of caring for others, paramedicine felt like the perfect fit.

“I have always aspired to pursue a frontline healthcare profession that allows me to problem

solve and provide medical needs in an unpredictable environment or situation,” he said.

“As paramedics, we respond to individuals requiring immediate medical or psychological

assistance, providing support during their challenging moments.

“Beyond being a rewarding and challenging job, this profession offers a profound sense of accomplishment and joy.”

While finding the balance between studying, assessments, work and family has been challenging, Julian said his experience working as a paramedic has been nothing short of amazing and he can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Originally from Melbourne, Julian loves coffee and enjoys spending his free time exploring various local cafes that specialises in unique brewing methods and individualized roasting styles.

Apart from coffee, he enjoys hiking as a way to meet different people and finds exploring different sceneries a great way to relieve stress.

Ebony Cordell – Graduate at Wonthaggi branch

A woman in Ambulance Victoria uniform sits outside on a garden chair with two happy dogsAs a Gippsland local originally from Warragul, Ebony was excited to move closer to Wonthaggi and begin her AV career.

She has been loving her time on road so far and has enjoyed applying her knowledge to real world scenarios.

“I always knew I wanted to have a job that made a difference and helped in some way or another. It really is an amazing job and the feeling of getting to help people and make their day even just a little bit brighter is a feeling I absolutely adore,” she said.

After originally wanting to become a veterinarian, it was a high school trip that inspired her to become a paramedic.

“I participated in a World Challenge trip for a month, where we volunteered and trekked around Nepal. Our guide turned out to be a paramedic from Victoria and over the month we spent together I learnt a lot about the job and what it entailed. I then came back excited to look into it, and after a bit of research, decided that it sounded like an incredible job that really suited me as a person!”

Ebony’s other passions include travelling, spending time at the beach, going to concerts and hanging out with her pets.

Sophie Shippen – Graduate at Traralgon branch

A woman in Ambulance Victoria uniform sits with a black labrador peer dogParamedicine has combined two of Sophie’s passions – being out on the road and helping people.

Originally from the small Victorian town of Toongabbie, Sophie said she has been enjoying every minute of her career since she hit the road in September.

“It’s always been a bit of a dream to pursue my paramedics degree. In 2019 I met another like-minded nurse who had the same dream, so we both enrolled in the graduate diploma course and made that dream a reality,” she said.

“So far, I’ve had a wonderful few months with some really great clinical instructors. They are full of paramedic wisdom and they love to share their tricks of the trade.”

Getting to spend her day out in the community is an added bonus for Sophie who loves exploring outdoors, with some of her favourite pastimes including going camping, mountain biking, playing tennis and snowboarding.

Rachael Woolridge – Graduate at Cowes branch

A woman in Ambulance Victoria uniform stand smiling in front of ambulancesSince moving to Phillip Island for her GAP program, Rachael has loved getting to explore the local scenery and interacting with the community.

Rachael started on road in July and said she is “extremely proud” to work at AV.

“I always looked up to paramedics as heroes in the community, and it’s a weird feeling becoming one slowly each day,” she said.

“I worked as a volunteer firefighter as a teenager and that built my interest in emergency services, I’ve also always been good at biology and I learn systems quickly.”

While she has been loving every moment of her time at AV, Rachael said she has faced some challenges which her colleagues have helped her through.

“There was a steep learning curve to overcome at first and I have done a lot of work to improve my confidence going into various jobs,” she said.

“Working with an amazing and supportive team at branch has made a huge difference. I never felt alone or unsupported and the entire team is extremely knowledgeable and happy to teach.”

Life outside of work is just as busy for Rachael, with her adorable 16-week-old golden retriever puppy keeping her on her toes.

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