Majella gives back to her Thursday Island community as a CQUni Paramedic-in-training

01 July 2021

While Majella Filewood never considered becoming a paramedic' thanks to CQUniversity's training she is now making it her career' not just to prove to herself she can do it' but also to give back to her people in the community of Thursday Island.

The 43-year-old mother-of-three' who is currently working in Cairns as an Ambulance Technician for the Queensland Ambulance Service' recently featured in a special CQUniversity video production.

The video' titled 'Walking in our Ancestor's Footsteps' follows five Indigenous participants' from prospective students to CQUniversity graduates and mentors - and tells the stories about their journeys to higher education and beyond.

"I was a little nervous and little shy (to participate in the video)' but once I overcame my stage fright all I felt was humble and honoured to partake in Desert Pea Productions video'" Majella said.

"It allowed me the opportunity to share a little glimpse into my life and although my story isn't unique to other single parents' it's me that's living it and sets it apart from the rest.

"National Reconciliation Week means to have a greater opportunity to work on strengthening the foundation and platform of bonding with our mob and the non–Indigenous people within our country.

"We can move together acknowledging our past today to create a path for the future' for ourselves and generations to come."

The bond Majella speaks is one she fosters every day in her job with the QAS on Thursday Island.

"I get my strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island cultural lineage from both my parents' it ties me all the way through the Torres Strait Islands. The Kaurareg Aboriginal People from Ngurupai/Narupair (Horn Island)' Keriri (Hammond Island) and Muralag (Prince of Wales)' Mualgal (Kubin Community Moa Island)' Erubam Le (Darnley Island) and Magani Lagugal (Yam Island)'" she said.

"I was born and bred on Thursday Island and to be honest' I didn't even think about becoming a paramedic' but I knew that I wanted to somehow give back to my community and my people.

"When the position was advertised' I said to myself: 'why not give it a go? and the rest is history really."

As an Ambulance Technician' Majella has the clinical scope of practice that encompasses certain skill levels and she can administer some drugs independently.

"I am now engaged in a Bachelor of Paramedic Science which allows me to practice skills at a qualified paramedic level ONLY under strict supervision.

"I have been working with QAS since May 2018' and this year is my third year. I love the job and having the opportunity to work with some really good' dedicated paramedics within senior management' senior educators and great frontline staff' who have made my experience very rewarding and enjoyable.

"I think for me' some of the challenges are realising that you can't save everyone' and also having that life work balance. I am a full-time shift worker' a single mother of three children and I also study full-time.

"Finding time to have for myself is sometime impossible' but my goal is to qualify as an Advance Care Paramedic II (ACP2) and working within my community to encourage the next Indigenous Paramedic Cadet to follow on in the program' so we have more of our own qualified to work in and around our communities.

"I have found the educational training I've received from CQUni to be helpful with building my self-confidence. I get a lot of my clinical learnings from QAS' but the ability to write better when doing documentation for my job has improved since undertaking my studies at CQUni.

"Now that I am on my pathway to achieving my goal to become a paramedic all I can think about is that I am out here making a difference' little or big and being a role model to my children and everyone who is willing to step outside of their comfort zone to do things they never would have thought about doing and giving back to people who give them some much growing up."

The Walking in our Ancestor's Footprints video was made possible thanks to funding by the Federal Government's Indigenous Student Success Program and approved by the First Nations Student Success Committee.