Paramedics Australasia began as the Institute of Ambulance Officers (Australia) – known as the ‘Institute’. The first recorded meeting of individuals to discuss the establishment of an Australian Institute of Ambulance Officers was conducted in Melbourne, Victoria in the Boardroom of the Windsor Hotel on 20 June 1971.

Institute of Ambulance Officers (Australia) logo

Mr Laurie Shea, Vice-Chairman of the Ambulance Commission of Tasmania, convened the meeting “as it seemed apparent that there was a need for a body to bring together ambulance officers in Australia with a specific aim of increasing their professional competence and provide a forum for the exchange of technical information between leaders in allied disciplines and between ambulance leaders themselves”.

The inaugural meeting of the Institute was held in Canberra on 30 July 1973; this meeting was to become the first Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Ambulance Officers (Australia). Over time, branches (or chapters) were established in each state and territory of Australia and the organisation matured into a vibrant professional body.

In 2000, the organisation changed its name to the Australian College of Ambulance Professionals, commonly referred to as ‘ACAP’ or the College’.

Australian College of Ambulance Professionals logo

In November 2011, a New Zealand Chapter of the College was established. Also in 2011, members voted to change the organisation’s name to better reflect the rapidly changing profession of paramedicine. Members chose Paramedics Australasia, and the organisation has gone from strength-to-strength in representing paramedics since then. Along with the new name came a new logo.

Paramedics Australasia logo

The Paramedics Australasia logo represents an unwell, ashen-coloured patient (centre) being cared for by paramedics (on either side) wearing the universal first-responders medical colour, green. Overlaid on the patient is the ‘Staff of Asclepius’, which is a a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine and associated with health care in modern times.