The role of the law in the professionalisation of paramedicine in Australia

Ruth Townsend

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The paramedic discipline has developed over time from its humble beginnings as stretcher bearers and ‘drivers’ to now carrying out high-risk, highly skilled, life-saving interventions. Paramedics in Australia have not traditionally been regulated in the same way as other comparable health practitioners, despite performing similar tasks and playing a unique and essential role in healthcare delivery however they have undertaken a concerted campaign over the past 10 years to
change their professional status and have looked to the law to facilitate that transition. This change is now underway. Despite the ambition of the paramedic discipline to be regulated as professionals, there has been relatively little analysis or discussion in the paramedic literature of the effect the discipline believes regulation as a profession will have on shaping the discipline in the future. This study examines how structural and legislative reform of the Australian healthcare workforce has coincided with the Australian paramedic professionalisation
project to provide an opportunity for paramedics to gain professional status. It further analyses what the role of law could be in fostering a culture and ethos of professionalism in the discipline.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Australian National University
  • Eburn, Michael, Principal Supervisor, External person
  • Faunce, Thomas, Co-Supervisor, External person
  • Dalla-Pozza, Dominique, Advisor, External person
Award date01 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 08 Dec 2017


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