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Kai hopes to use his paramedicine degree to save lives and shape minds


Bachelor of Paramedicine student Kai Leemeijer reckons he has studied under just about every university faculty there is. But his constant need to keep learning new things has one big drawback.

“It makes it really hard to pick a career,” he laughed.

“But working in emergency services suits my personality, my need to be doing something different every day, to be helping people.”

Currently studying paramedicine at the University of Tasmania’s Rozelle Campus in Sydney, Kai was interested in physiotherapy during high school but, when he went to university in Queensland, he studied to become an occupational therapist instead.

After one year of that degree, Kai decided it was not what he wanted to do and switched to a business communications degree. Then, after completing it, he realised there was very little work available in that field.

So he went back to uni again.

Kai Leemeijer (front, right) and other Bachelor of Paramedicine students at the Rozelle Campus in Sydney.
Kai Leemeijer (front, right) and other Bachelor of Paramedicine students at the Rozelle Campus in Sydney.

“This time I studied a law degree and did some internships as well,” he said.

“After graduating I ended up working in Singapore as a corporate lawyer. But I realised very quickly that it wasn’t for me: my personal values did not align with the career I’d picked.

“So I moved back home and studied physiotherapy for a bit, but found it kinda boring. So I studied a graduate diploma in teaching whilst working in outdoor recreation and education.”

Kai eventually moved to Sydney to be with his now ex-partner, who was a police officer. And that was when he started taking an interest in the emergency services.

“I was thinking about joining the police force and started working for the Triple-0 emergency service while I waited for the next intake. And that’s when I saw an ad for the University of Tasmania pop up, for the Bachelor of Paramedicine.”

Kai Leemeijer and other Bachelor of Paramedicine students in class at the Rozelle Campus in Sydney.
Kai Leemeijer and other Bachelor of Paramedicine students in class at the Rozelle Campus in Sydney.

“I thought it sounded like something I wanted to try and I wanted to see if it would resonate for me. And it was a great fit for my core values.”

Currently 39 years old and in the second year of his accelerated degree at Rozelle, Kai is thrilled to be on track to graduate in two years instead of the standard three.

”Being a mature-age student, I’m keen to have my degree finished as soon as possible and start working. And I’ve studied a lot over the years already so the idea of spending another three years on something wouldn’t have appealed to me.”

Kai has found the campus community at Rozelle to be exceptionally supportive, something he largely attributes to its relatively small population.

“Everyone knows everyone, staff, students, everyone wants to help each other and, well, I’ve been to a lot of unis and you don’t usually get that level of commitment elsewhere!”

Kai says he has finally found the meaningful career he needs in paramedicine. And the practical experiences of the degree have already helped him with his “needlephobia”, much to his relief.

As much as Kai is looking forward to getting out in the field as a paramedic, he also has bigger future plans for his degree.

“I’m quite interested in transgender education and advocacy within paramedicine,” he said.

“I was assigned female at birth and I know from my own personal experiences that there’s not a lot of info or awareness about transgender health in the sector.

“I’ve had to call an ambulance for myself in the past and they simply didn’t know how to approach it. Even something as simple as knowing to ask ‘what was your assigned gender at birth’ makes a huge difference.

“There are medical emergencies that can be missed if you’re not aware of the gender the patient was assigned at birth. So I’m hoping my personal experiences, along with my professional training, can help me to be an advocate and improve education in the profession.”

Our Sydney campus offers courses in nursinghealth management, and Australia’s only fast track paramedicine degree, all in partnership with local hospitals and health service providers. If you want to learn more about Rozelle and the courses available, you can book a campus tour or virtual consult.