SPA Executive Committee 2015
SPA are pleased to announce their new executive committee for 2015.
This year was very highly contested and after many lots of work and voting the new committee is here. In addition to a new committee there is a new
structure for 2015 as shown below. The aim of the new structure is to improve the overall working of SPA and make everything the best it can be.
We hope the new committee have a great 2015 and that they can make 2015 great for paramedic students, Australia and New Zealand wide!
Conveyor Carolyn Emerson
This is my second year on the SPA committee and my fourth year of involvement with SPA. I am excited to be returning to the committee this year as
Convener having previously been involved in the portfolio of Program Development. Involvement in the 2014 Executive Committee has given me an insight
into the running of the student conference and the potential of SPA to really benefit students from all universities.
I have recently completed my Bachelor of Paramedic Science through the University of Queensland and have just started employment with the Queensland Ambulance Service.
Since starting my paramedic science degree I have been heavily involved with SPA as the founding President of my local student society chapter UQSP and through 2014 held the role of Event Manager and SPA liaison for the UQSP.
Local student societies and the wider SPA group allow students to take an active role in their education and professional development while also establishing a network of peers that will continue into our chosen careers. The sharing of knowledge and support that occurs through SPA strengthens the student group and provides connections that continue into their chosen careers.
It is an honour to have been elected to the role of Convener and to be working with such a fabulous and passionate team for 2015. I plan to work with the various SPA committee portfolios to ensure we deliver innovative and engaging opportunities for our student members.
Co-Chair Jess Morton
After taking on the portfolio of Community Engagement for my first year in SPA in 2014, I feel very privileged to now step up as Co-chair for 2015.
I have very big shoes to attempt to fill as those who have held this role in the past, such as Ben Baxter, have achieved great things during their leadership. I
really look forward to working with all of the new 2015 team and especially with the new structure which will allow us to engage more closely with our
societies right across Australia and New-Zealand.
I have seen the growth that SPA has made over the past years and can see a lot of potential for how we can develop even further and create more
opportunities for student paramedics to learn, engage, network and contribute to our community as a whole.
I am a part-time, distance student at Edith Cowan University and a Mum to 2 little boys. My areas of interest lie in the areas of primary and rural healthcare,
mental health, #foamED and the use of Social media for medical education amongst a plethora of other things.
I really look forward to meeting more of you in 2015 as we bring you an even better and bigger year from SPA.
Co-Chair Brienna Forster
It gives me great pleasure to hand over the position of “Communications Coordinator” to the talented Miss Liz Leov and take on the 2015 Co-chair role
overseeing the Communications, Program Development and Sponsorship portfolios.
2015 is a year of opportunities, having just completed my final year of a Bachelor of Science (Paramedical Science) Degree at Edith Cowan University,
Western Australia. Recently returning from a 5 month exchange in Indonesia, I am excited to open the next door of my journey; fulfilling my dreams of
becoming a paramedic.
Being a committee member is about sharing my enthusiasm for such a great industry and connecting with like-minded people all over the Australasia. This
year I will strive towards continuing previous SPA committees’ hard work, engaging members, seeking for new opportunities and pushing for registration, all
whilst upholding the core values of SPA and PA.
I look forward to working alongside our passionate, enthusiastic SPA team where we will represent and advocate for students paramedics. I am excited to
nurture and support their innovative ideas aimed to strengthen student Paramedicine in Australia and New Zealand.
Should you have any suggestions or enquiries, contact me at:
Secretary Lauren Flett
My name is Lauren Flett, most people know me as Loz. In 2015 I will be a member of the SPA committee in the Secretary and Administration role, taking over from Tess Chaplin. My role includes facilitating committee meetings, coordinating communication and producing an event calendar so that members know what events are on; as well as providing support to other committee roles.
I am entering into my third year of the dual Nursing and Paramedicine degree at the Australian Catholic University Canberra campus. My first introduction into pre- hospital care began as a volunteer through St John Ambulance ACT and the ACT Rural Fire Service. My experiences while volunteering enlightened my passion to become a health care professional. As I progress through the degree and into my career; I hope to be an integral part of the innovative and emerging research that improves both pre-hospital care and emergency nursing.
My history with SPA began in 2012 as a committee member of my local SPA chapter, progressing to Treasurer in 2013. I have developed a passion for providing students with opportunities in professional development outside of the university curriculum through networking, community involvement and CPD events. In 2015 I will be dedicated to maintaining a smooth correspondence between SPA, the university chapters, members and other stakeholders.
I hope to continue the great work achieved by the 2014 SPA committee and deliver another incredible conference.
Australasian Coordinator (NSW, ACT, NZ) - Krystal Chapman
My name is Krystal and this year I am lucky enough to be taking on the newly formed role of Australasian Coordinator (NSW, ACT and NZ). I am looking forward to building and continuing strong relationships with all the university chapters across the mentioned states.
This year I will be beginning my second year of paramedicine at the University of Western Sydney. I was fortunate enough to be one of the starting members of our year old SPAUWS chapter and will be continuing as president for 2015. I feel privileged to work in such a fantastic team at SPAUWS and cherish the relationships I have built through SPA, both locally and nationally, in 2014.
I pride myself on my ability to immerse myself in anything and everything I can to the best of my ability and am excited to foster and progress the foundations SPA already has formed with the local university chapters. My aim is to help connect the universities together to create bonds that can lead to bigger and high quality CPD’s both statewide and internationally in NZ.
Australasian Coordinator (QLD, SA, WA) Cassie Luck
My name is Cassie Luck and I will be taking up the new the role of Society Coordinator for QLD, SA & WA.
I have lived on the Sunshine Coast my whole life and enjoy the lifestyle. I have a family with 2 children, one in primary school and the other starting high school this year. Prior to commencing my Paramedicine studies I worked in an administration role as Business Relations Manager. I have continues this work on a part time basis while studying.
This year I am entering my 3rd and final year of study of Paramedic Science at The University of the Sunshine Coast, QLD. My journey has just started with SPA but I have been an active member of our University Student Paramedics Association (SCUPA) since my first year of study as Treasurer and have taken on the role of President for the 2014/2015 year. The events that SCUPA has been able to organise, while I have been associated, has inspired me to become more involved within my own uni as well as with the SPA community.
This year I am looking forward to collaborating with the state societies (that fall under my portfolio), with the aim to boost interest and membership levels. A goal of mine would be to build relationships between universities, strengthening bonds and organising inter-university events.
I look forward to working with the SPA committee for another successful year.
Australasian Coordinator (VIC,TAS) Mat Carter
I am currently undertaking the 3rd year of my Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedics) at Victoria University. I am the current president of VUSPA and the General Secretary of the Society for the College of Health and Biomedicine at VU. In 2015, I have been appointed to the portfolio of Australasian Coordinator (Victoria and Tasmania) with SPA.
This will be my first year on the SPA committee, however I have previous experience working with the organisation through my role in VUSPA. Last year I volunteered with SPA and FERNO to assist with the running of the 2014 FERNO Sim Challenge at Jupiter’s Casino on the Gold Coast. Over the past 2 years, I have witnessed SPA develop into a respectful organisation in its own right - as demonstrated by the success of the 2014 International SPA Conference.
I believe that university societies are the backbone of SPA. I hope to utilise my experience in order to support them to effectively represent their membership base. I am a strong believer in promoting efficiency and I hope to utilise the strengths of each association in Victoria and Tasmania to develop a universal working model for the future.
I look forward to working with the 2015 committee and I hope that in my role as Australasian Coordinator, I will be able to help SPA grow to its full potential!
Community Engagement Lucinda Abouritz
Hi there, my name is Lucinda and I am very excited to be taking on the Community Engagement portfolio with the SPA committee in 2015! I am going into my second year of a Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedics) at Victoria University and can’t wait to see what the year has installed. Prior to commencing paramedics I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Studies at Monash University. I hope to use connections gained through personal voluntary commitments to assist me in my role with SPA.
Community engagement is an area I approach with great excitement and passion. I have a strong belief that active participation within the community provides all those involved with invaluable opportunities and knowledge. This can be as simple as putting a smile on someone’s face or learning something new, to being the underlying factor in obtaining a new job or position. For students there can be a lot of barriers to participating in activities within the community. Thus my goal for 2015 is to minimise these barriers and provide students with as many opportunities as possible to develop and expand skills, and assist others within our community.
Rural Health Initiatives - Frances Kirchner
I am a 3rd year Paramedical Science student at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. I work full-time as an Environmental Officer and have recently commenced work as a casual Patient Transport Officer with St John Ambulance WA. I have been elected to the position of ‘Rural Health Initiatives’ on the SPA Committee for 2015 and am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute.
This is my first year on the SPA committee. I have attended the last two SPA conferences in Melbourne and the Gold Coast and been awed by the amazing work put into organising the events and have personally benefited greatly from the conferences. I am also an active member of the WA Student Paramedics society who are similarly an amazingly dedicated group of people. As I enter my last year of study it’s time to ‘give-back’.
The overarching goal I have for the Rural Health Initiatives position is to provide greater opportunities for paramedical students to gain knowledge, experience and awareness in the rural sector and work towards expanding the roles that we can undertake in remote areas in liaison with other health professions. Paramedics working in remote/rural Australia are in the perfect position to assist with primary health care and prevention initiatives. The role of community paramedicine will only continue to grow and as students we need to be prepared to inform ourselves and capitalise on this added dimension to our careers.
My inbox is open to any and all ideas and I look forward to working with the SPA committee to continue the brilliant work into 2015!
Communications - Liz Leov
Hi there! My name is Liz Leov and 2015 will be my second year on the SPA committee!
I am a fourth (and final) year Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedicine) student at CSU, Bathurst. I am highly involved with my local society CSUSPA, currently holding the position of president.
As your Student Paramadics Australasia Communications representative for 2015, my aim is to ensure that students have their voice heard and information is adequately relayed between students, SPA and PA. I hope to work with other SPA team members to effectively provide students with the information they need to keep up to date with SPA and PA happenings, providing them with the opportunities to participate in our events and gain access to the vast number of events and resources available through our organisation!
I believe that involvement in SPA events provides amazing opportunities for student growth. Pursuing active learning and current research, networking and learning from mentors allows students to develop both personally and professionally. Thus, I hope to see more students engaging with the content provided through SPA to build a community of even greater professionals!
Program Development Callum Sutton
My name is Callum Sutton, I am going into the third year of my Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic) degree at Victoria University, Melbourne. This Year I will be taking on the Programs Development portfolio.
This is my second year on the SPA committee. I thoroughly enjoyed networking, collaborating and promoting the student societies last year; holding the position of Publications. I hope that we can continue strong in 2015, bringing you a successful conference following the one held on the Gold Coast last October.
My goal is to open up as many viable opportunities for our members at a state, national and international levels. I aim to develop some great programs, both practical and theory based for students around the country and of course I look forward to working with Kathleen Stinson & David Still as well as the whole SPA committee to deliver another fantastic national conference to SPA members.
Web Editor & Social Media Michael Birtill
My name is Michael Birtill and this year I will be the Web Editor and Social Media Coordinator. As this is my second year in this position, I understand what it will take to excel at this role.
I have just graduated from The University of Queensland and am now employed by The Queensland Ambulance Service.
I took the Web Editor position from strength to strength last year with an exponential growth in all areas and mediums. This year I am looking to build upon my success from last year and introduce some really useful stuff for students, watch this space!
The executive committee this year is looking like one of the most motivated and enthusiastic groups I have ever had the pleasure to work with in any endeavour. I cannot wait to work on projects together and make 2015 the year of the paramedic student.
Should you have any suggestions, queries or just want to chat, contact me at:
Publications John Kostakis
Hi, I’m Johnny. I’m a second year paramedicine student at The University of Western Sydney and I have been newly appointed the publications role for 2015.
My story with SPA thus far started when my fellow first year paramedic peers and I came together to establish the founding committee of Student Paramedics Australasia University of Western Sydney, SPAUWS. My main role of Multimedia and Communications Coordinator has been maintained since the formation of this society. This role has been a fantastic insight and learning experience, which has encouraged me to apply some of my skills and further enhance my knowledge during my position with SPA.
What I’m hoping to achieve this year with SPA in publications is to really give student paramedics, in addition to the broader community, a vivid insight into the world of a paramedic student. Along with promoting and advertising past and ongoing research many of us do, I also aim to spread the word and inform others of social events, volunteer work and source as much information as possible about CPD’s and other events.
I am always open to all sorts of inputs and ideas, so please don’t hesitate to contact me about any matters on ...
Sponsorship Hilary Suridge
I am so excited to be part of SPA in 2015, taking on the role of sponsorship. I am in my first year of the Bachelor of Paramedic Science Program at the University of Queensland. I have had a keen interest in medicine and paramedic science for the best part of ten years. I have been involved with the University of Queensland Student Paramedics Society for two years and have been involved with SPA events for two years as well. Last year in 2014, I had the privilege of attending the 2014 SPA Conference and saw firsthand how extensive and essential the involvement of SPA is to the student community. I was impressed by the encouragement students receive and the products and professional development students obtain from SPA.
I believe that professional experiences and liaising with associations and companies that already have an involvement in the paramedic community is essential in the growth of the professional development of the student paramedic. I have had some experience with sponsorship and know how important it is to the student paramedic community. I hope to get in touch with important sponsors this year, so that students can have a firsthand look on the quality merchandise they offer and receive hands-on experience with products used by qualified paramedics all over Australia and Overseas. This will also give industry leaders who offer sponsorship, opportunities to showcase their world-class products and paramedical experience.
My aim is to accrue as many big and small businesses, associations and organisations to SPA as possible, and hopefully bring real-world experience to the students and SPA, and also attract as much spotlight to the community group as possible.
Conference Committee Kathleen Stinson
My name is Kathleen and I’ve been fortunate enough to be selected as a member on the SPA executive committee. I have a strong background in heath and before starting my degree I worked in a number of health roles, ranging from cancer care, child health, correctional services, Ambulance NSW and I’ve also worked in a number of emergency departments over the years. I started my degree in Queensland and in February 2014 transferred to Sydney, I’ve been able to see first-hand the differences between the states and how they operate which has been a great opportunity. Currently I’m in my final year of study at UTAS and looking forward to my final placements and working with SPA.
Conference Committee David Still
My name’s David, I’ll be taking up one of the conference committee roles in 2015. I’m entering my fourth year of the combined Bachelor of Nursing/Paramedicine at the Australian Catholic University’s Signadou campus in Canberra. I came to this degree the roundabout way, starting with an attempted degree in software engineering, a job in childcare, then volunteering for St John before I decided that paramedicine was what I really wanted to do all along.
I love the SPA conferences - I attended alone in 2013, but joined two entire FernoSim teams the following year. These gatherings are the most incredible way to get in touch with students from around Australia, hear a little about what it’s like to live and work in other states and territories, and to hear about how we’ll be practicing our craft in the future. I hope that in 2015 we can put together the must-attend student paramedic event of the year.