Leader, mentor, counsellor

Valla Beach’s Sharon White is our other shire resident who has been honoured this Queen’s Birthday.

Sharon has been awarded an Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) for her work in that service over the last 31 years.

In her citation it describes her as “a leader, mentor, counsellor and clinical specialist for call takers/dispatchers and paramedics (both extended care and intensive care).

Meet her and her passion and commitment is immediately obvious.

And her humour … something that is necessary when you spend your life either helping people or helping them to help others and themselves.

“I grew up in Rooty Hill in Sydney and became a paramedic because I didn’t think I could be a nurse,” Sharon said.

“The daily challenges are what kept me there … no day is ever the same, plus you work with really decent people – and some of the patients are absolute gems.”

After 15 years on the road, working in the same places she grew up (and influencing more than a few of the young people who crossed her path), the possibility of working in paramedic education opened up, and Sharon took it.

“The last 15 years have been the best time for me … the people are fabulous. Every one of them has been a paramedic and all of them are passionate about helping paramedics do their job in the best way possible.”

For her this ASM is all about recognising the educators in the NSW Ambulance Service:

“Because without that team and what they do, I couldn’t be successful in what I’ve done.”

The award itself was a complete surprise:

“I really appreciate that someone thought enough of the work I do to do something like this.

“I deeply appreciate it but it won’t change anything.

“I want to help people be better at what they do, better at how they help someone – and if I can do or say one thing that helps, then I’ve done my job.”


“Sharon is a leading authority in flexible delivery of education in clinical practice in all realms of ambulance and has developed structures for educators, advancing distance education and expanding regional training packages.

“She has extensive experience in debriefing paramedics after critical incidents and has utilised this knowledge to develop a model used in a simulation package.”

Sharon has been honoured for her dedication to providing excellence in care, the core value of NSW Ambulance.”

The Guardian News congratulates Sharon.

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