Paramedicine Board of Australia - Board members
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Board members

Stephen Gough

Professor Stephen Gough ASM

Chair and practitioner member from Queensland

Stephen is a career paramedic and senior executive who has worked in the ambulance and health sectors for almost four decades. He has worked in four ambulance services across the states and territories, holding a variety of senior positions in line operations, education, staff development, communications, strategy and other areas of corporate management. He holds a range of tertiary credentials and has been clinically qualified at both advanced life support and intensive care levels.

Stephen is currently the Assistant Commissioner, Capability and Development within the Queensland Ambulance Service and holds Associate Professor appointments at four Australian Universities.

What skills and experience do you bring to the Board?

I have a passion for the development of the paramedic profession and health service delivery models, innovation and change, particularly in the enhancement of the provision of health services to rural Australians. In my role as a health leader, my experience has included: policy, planning, resourcing; clinical practice redesign, clinical workforce education and training, organisational redesign, leadership and health service governance, management capability and development, organisational change and the development of professional practice standards.

I have had the privilege of representing ambulance services and the paramedic profession nationally in various roles including as the Secretary of the Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA), Executive Board Member of the Australian National Rural Health Alliance, Chair of CAA National Ambulance Education Committee, Director of the CAA Paramedic Education Programs Accreditation Scheme (PEPAS) and several ministerial committee appointments.

Where do you think the paramedicine profession will be in three years and what do you think this means for protection of the public?

The paramedic profession has seen monumental change in practice over recent decades and now has a comprehensive set of skills and technologies to provide world class services to Australian communities. The next three years will present equally exciting changes alongside regulation of the profession and the registration of paramedics. Paramedics will work closely with their health practitioner colleagues in evolving roles to meet the increasing demand for health services, seeking innovation and new pathways in providing quality healthcare. Registration will ensure that Australian communities can be confident that expected standards are being met by those practising as paramedic health care professionals.

Note: The Ambulance Service Medal is awarded under the Australian Honours and Awards system for distinguished service as a member of an Australian ambulance service.

Keith Driscoll

Mr Keith Driscoll ASM

Deputy Chair and practitioner member from South Australia

Keith has over 25 years’ experience in the provision of ambulance services through St John Volunteers Northern Territory, Ambulance Service New South Wales and the South Australian Ambulance Service (SAAS). He has performed various roles over the years, including: volunteer ambulance officer, intensive care paramedic, operations director and is currently the Executive Director of Clinical Performance and Patient Safety for SA Ambulance Service.

He was also the first paramedic to become a member of the Medical Advisory Committee (SAAS) and one of the first clinical managers to join the original Medical Directors' Committee of the Council of Ambulance Authorities.

What skills and experience do you bring to the Board?

Over the years I’ve been exposed to many different ambulance services in Australia and around the world and have experience working in a variety of settings that paramedics operate in. I have a strong understanding of governance and patient/public safety. In my role with SAAS, some of my key achievements have been: introducing re-accreditation as a quality assurance activity, leading the single Paramedic Response and Intervention units (including pushbikes and motorbikes), as well as directing state-wide emergency operations. I was also responsible for the development and implementation of the Clinical and Patient Safety directorate. This relatively new department has the role of ensuring patient safety and improving clinical outcomes.

Where do you think the paramedicine profession will be in three years and what do you think this means for protection of the public?

I believe paramedicine as a profession will see current roles expand to become less traditional in the future, as well as increasing scopes of practice. This will create a stronger need for those practising in the profession to ensure they have met registration requirements, so the patients can feel safe and have confidence in the clinician treating them. More and more the adaptive clinical skills of the paramedic are being sought in a range of roles with increased autonomy under less structured supervision. It is vital that the public is protected in this space with a sound framework of registration.

Clare Beech

Ms Clare Beech

Practitioner member from New South Wales

After graduating from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic), Clare started her paramedic career as a graduate with Rural Ambulance Victoria in 2002. She spent a number of years working in rural and remote locations in country Victoria before relocating to Melbourne to practise as an Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedic. In 2007 she worked as a paramedic with NSW Ambulance and has since achieved intensive care, extended care and frontline management qualifications. She has a Postgraduate Certificate in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Leadership and Management and recently attained a Master of Business Leadership. She has also been a Director on the Board of the Australian and New Zealand College of Paramedicine since 2013 and has contributed to the college's advocacy for paramedic registration under AHPRA and the National Scheme.

What skills and experience do you bring to the Board?

I have held senior leadership roles since 2012 and remain unreservedly committed to ensuring excellence in clinical care within the industry. I feel privileged to be a part of the first Paramedicine Board of Australia and look forward to helping with the introduction of national standards for paramedic registration. With plenty of work to do in the next 12 months I am very much looking forward to the momentous occasion of the beginning of paramedic regulation in late 2018.

Where do you think the paramedicine profession will be in three years and what do you think this means for protection of the public?

Our profession has a proud history of moving with the times, advancing in line with evidence and being adaptable and innovative in order to deliver care to patients no matter the challenges we face. The National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) will strengthen our workforce and put patient safety first.

Kate Griggs

Mrs Kate Griggs

Community member

Kate comes from a community advocacy background, working across the community sector and parliamentary settings to advance the health and wellbeing of those communities experiencing inequity. Kate has a particular interest in patient safety outcomes, and had been a health consumer representative at local, state and national levels. She has also sat on consumer reference panels and grant assessment committees in medical research, and accreditation committees in medical education. Prior to joining the Paramedicine Board Kate was a member of Ahpra’s Community Advisory Council from 2016 to 2023, and lived experience speaker at combined board meetings. In addition to Paramedicine, Kate is also now a member of the Tasmanian Medical Board. Kate has a Bachelor of Arts (Mass Communications) and Masters in Public Policy.

What skills and experience do you bring to the Board?

I bring a long-term strategic understanding of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) and its objectives. I have been involved in the the National Scheme since its inception through the initial legislative drafting process and contributed to ongoing consultations and reflections on behalf of health consumers. I continue to be actively involved in Australian health consumer advocacy networks and seek to represent community concerns regarding access to health services and patient safety outcomes.

Why do you think the work of the Board is important and what made you want to become a Board member?

I strongly appreciate the necessity of the paramedic and its often immediate role in our community, but I also value its evolving role into preventative and primary health care. I seek to contribute on behalf of patients and carers to developing a regulatory scheme that educates and supports paramedics to be their best so as to achieve safe and quality outcomes for all diversity of patients.

Sam Perillo

Mr Sam Perillo

Practitioner member from a small jurisdiction – Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Sam has been a registered paramedic in both Australia and abroad, having started his ambulance career working for the London Ambulance Service in the United Kingdom. When Sam returned home to Australia, he joined the ACT Ambulance Service where he has held a variety of roles, most recently as a Manager in the Clinical Governance Unit. He has also spent time in the ACT Health directorate developing public health emergency management policies.

What skills and experience do you bring to the Board?

Through my experience in clinical governance and public health policy I bring a range of skills and knowledge of health system leadership, alongside a passion for ensuring the paramedic profession contributes to improving health outcomes. My work in both policy and practice has given me a strong understanding of how the paramedic profession and ambulance services interact with – and integrate into – the broader health system.

Why do you think the work of the Board is important and what made you want to become a Board member?

The changing scope of the role that a paramedic plays in delivering healthcare to the community presents unique challenges to the profession. I was drawn to becoming a Board member as I wanted to play a role in keeping the profession safe and accountable, not only to patients and consumers, but also to each other as health practitioners.

Lynda Renouf

Ms Linda Renouf

Community member

Linda has extensive experience in policy within state and federal government and roles within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service in Queensland and Western Australia. She holds degrees in Law, Southern Cross University, Grad Dip Legal Practice, Australian National University, Master of Law from Australian National University and is currently a PhD (Law) Candidate, Queensland University of Technology. She is also admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland, and is currently an appointed Member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), former Conciliator at Fair Work Commission, and Principal Policy Advisory, Queensland State Government peak advisory body. Linda is also appointed as community member to the Queensland Board of the Psychology Board of Australia.

What skills and experience do you bring to the Board?

I contribute my legal knowledge and policy-related skills to help in the development of our governing framework under the National Scheme and look forward to working collaboratively with paramedics, AHPRA and my colleagues on the National Board.

Where do you think the paramedicine profession will be in three years and what do you think this means for protection of the public?

The most exciting thing about paramedicine joining the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme in 2018 is that this process is a collaborative approach which allows paramedics to be formally recognised at a national level in line with the other health professions. The registration of paramedics acknowledges the important role they provide in the area of emergency care, while affording the public transparency regarding individual registrations. This will ensure all paramedics are suitably accredited and, that our industry grows competently and ethically allowing the public to have more confidence in the protection afforded under the National Scheme.

Simon Sawyer

Dr Simon Sawyer PhD

Practitioner member from Victoria

In 2012, Simon started his career in paramedicine working as an Advanced Life Support paramedic in rural Victoria. His in-field experience eventually led Simon to complete a PhD on the paramedic response to family violence in 2018.

Across his career, Simon has held a number of senior academic teaching positions including his current role as Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Griffith University. Simon is also the Director of Education for the Australian Paramedical College.

What skills and experience do you bring to the Board?

My paramedicine career has given me a strong background in strategic leadership and corporate governance, which I will continue to apply to my work on the Board. I also have a demonstrated ability to improve our profession’s capacity to serve the community through my experience designing and delivering high-quality educational programs.

Inclusivity is at the heart of my work, and I strive to ensure the paramedic workforce is supported to deliver compassionate and culturally safe care to all communities.

Why do you think the work of the Board is important and what made you want to become a Board member?

I became a member of the Board of Paramedicine because its core purpose – to protect the public – aligns with my own reason for becoming a paramedic.

Building on the exceptional work of the previous board, I hope to ensure the unique education and talents of the paramedic workforce are fostered and accessible to the communities we serve.

I aim to be a strong advocate for the future of paramedicine by strengthening our profession to promote growth in key areas, while also supporting the wellbeing of our practitioners.

Photo of Tiina-Liisa Sexton

Ms Tiina-Liisa Sexton

Community member

Tiina-Liisa is a chartered accountant with a background in risk and financial management, governance and ethics. She has worked in the private, public, academic and not-for-profit sectors, and was the national Professional Standards Adviser in ethics and corporate governance at CPA Australia for 14 years until 2011.

Tiina-Liisa is a member of the Professional Standards Councils and Director of St Giles Society. She is a former director of Housing Choices Australia, Aurora Energy Pty Ltd, Hobart Water and Connect Credit Union.

What skills and experience do you bring to the Board?

With more than 20 years’ experience as a non-executive director in various sectors including electricity, water, financial services, housing and disability services, I have gained a working knowledge of board practices and am able to contribute towards good governance and effective risk management.

Why do you think the work of the Board is important and what made you want to become a Board member?

My experience in policy development in a co-regulatory environment, especially in the area of professional standards, ethics and governance, has shown the importance of effective regulation in protecting the public and safeguarding consumers’ rights. The Board’s work is vital in this regulatory environment to not only protect the public but help influence and grow the profession.

My desire to become a Board member is linked to my professional background and community interests. I have been associated with several community groups having served as honorary treasurer for the Tasmanian Council for Aids & Related Diseases (TasCAHRD) and Designed Objects Tasmania (DOT).  I am currently honorary treasurer of the Battery Point Community Association and the Theatre Council of Tasmania. This community involvement gives me exposure to a large part of a diverse community who represent the public. Also, as a board member of St Giles (Tasmania’s largest, non-government organisation catering to the needs of people living with disability) I am acutely aware of the specific needs and challenges faced by people with disabilities when accessing high-level emergency medical care. As a Board member, I hope I am able to represent this community interest.

Angela Wright

Ms Angela Wright

Practitioner member from Western Australia

Angela has worked for St John Ambulance (St John) for over 13 years, starting out as a paramedic and then moving into various management roles across the organisation. Currently Angela is the Operations Manager for the Health Services Directorate at St John. Before this, she completed her B.Sc (Hons) and worked in the mining industry as a geologist and decided to change her career after becoming a volunteer ambulance officer in the outback town of Leinster, in Western Australia.

What skills and experience do you bring to the Board?

My core skills lie in problem solving, process improvement, leading teams and developing and implementing projects. After working as a paramedic and in various management roles at St John, I have a strong focus on patient care and health outcomes within Australia. 

Where do you think the paramedicine profession will be in three years and what do you think this means for protection of the public?

Introduction of registration will provide an opportunity for increased accountability and professionalism for the industry, benefiting the public with an improved paramedic service and better consistency of clinical care throughout Australia.

Page reviewed 3/11/2017