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Catherine McNamara

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Catherine McNamara

Awarded for service to police, emergency services and defence

Born: 19 October 1962

Entered on roll: 2019

“First response”

The career of paramedic Catherine McNamara is full of firsts.

When Catherine joined the Tasmanian Ambulance Service, in 1985, as a Student Ambulance Officer, she was the only woman employed as a paramedic in the State.

In 1988, Catherine became the first woman to qualify as a paramedic in Tasmania by completing the Certificate of Applied Science (Ambulance Officer).

Catherine was the first woman in the Tasmanian Ambulance Service to become qualified in ‘vehicular rescue and rescue from heights’, the first woman to become a Clinical Instructor and the first woman to perform operational management roles such as Duty Manager, Operations Manager, Paramedic Educator and Manager (Clinical Practice and Education).

Catherine was part of the first group of Tasmanian Ambulance Clinical Instructors to gain formal teaching qualifications by obtaining a Diploma of Teaching through the University of Tasmania in 1993.

Catherine championed the introduction of flexible work arrangements and participated in the first Tasmanian Ambulance Service job share arrangement introduced into the organisation in 1993.

In 1995 Catherine completed the first Bachelor of Prehospital Care to be made available to Tasmanian paramedics, and became one of the first paramedics nationally to hold a tertiary qualification in paramedicine.

In 2003, Catherine identified a deficit in paramedic-specific, obstetric education. Catherine studied for a Graduate Diploma (Midwifery) and went on to develop an ambulance-specific suite of obstetric education programs that continues to be taught to Ambulance Tasmania paramedics.

Catherine forged a place as one of the first paramedic academics nationally, by completing a Master of Education in 2013.

As a Paramedic Educator for over 15 years, Catherine worked at a national level to drive the transition of paramedic education into the tertiary sector that occurred in the early 2000s.

Catherine was the first female salaried paramedic in Tasmania awarded the Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) in 2010 for distinguished service.

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