The author explains how a range of health occupational communities have travelled down various pathways in a quest for professional status. Some have been more successful than others and the evidence indicates that the successful communities pursued political strategies and tactics. This paper draws on their experiences to suggest ways that Australian ambulance paramedics could proceed in their quest for increased professional status and autonomy.

Author Biography

Dr. Kerry Mahony


Dr Kerry Mahony is a lecturer in the School of Management at the University of Western Sydney. Kerry is a sociologist who specialises in the sociology of work, organisations and the professions. She became interested in the work of ambulance paramedics when she taught management studies to serving ambulance officers completing a degree in pre-hospital care. This engagement led to further research interests and today Kerry has published several articles on the organisational dimensions of occupational stress in ambulance services.