Ambo ready for road

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Bryce Luff

JEREMY Mait­land-Smith was 40 when he con­sid­ered him­self too old to study paramedici­ne.

For­tu­nately for him, St John Am­bu­lance staff felt dif­fer­ently.

At the time, the Cool­bellup res­i­dent had spent a hand­ful of years as a vol­un­teer am­bu­lance of­fi­cer in the Kim­ber­ley.

It was a role that showed him ex­actly what he would ex­pe­ri­ence as a full time pro­fes­sional, with the 42-year-old not shy­ing away from the re­al­i­ties of the job.

His ex­pe­ri­ence and calm head un­der the pres­sures meant he was an ideal can­di­date to snap up an Abo­rig­i­nal stu­dent am­bu­lance of­fi­cer schol­ar­ship with St John Am­bu­lance, which of­fered him the chance to fur­ther his train­ing at Curtin Univer­sity.

“Af­ter spend­ing a bit of time vol­un­teer­ing in Wyn­d­ham with my wife I thought it was some­thing I could do as a job,” he said.

“I went to the con­fer­ence but I said: ‘I’m too old’. For­tu­nately they thought I’d be ma­ture and ex­pe­ri­enced, and af­ter do­ing all the test­ing I moved down in De­cem­ber.”

Mr Mait­land-Smith is about to wrap up his first year of study be­fore he hits the road as an am­bu­lance of­fi­cer in early 2017, a po­si­tion sim­i­lar to his vol­un­teer role. He said the aim was to re­turn to the Kim­ber­ley once his four years of train­ing and stud­ies were up, where he hopes his story will in­spire others.

“My long term goal is to in­spire Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple to do the same thing,” he said.

“More in­dige­nous peo­ple should take part in op­por­tu­ni­ties like this.”

The Abo­rig­i­nal stu­dent am­bu­lance of­fi­cer schol­ar­ship is funded by the State Gov­ern­ment’s Roy­al­ties for Re­gions scheme.

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d461275

Jeremy Mait­land-Smith: First year done.

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