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QAS History and Heritage

"The people of Queensland value their heritage and history. Preservation and conservation of our heritage and history is a principle to which the Queensland Ambulance Service is strongly committed.

I am delighted with the dedication and commitment from all staff and volunteers, including local ambulance committee members, to preserving the history of the ambulance service in Queensland. Our heritage and history engenders great pride in our service and great respect for our past, throughout which strong community support for ambulance services has always been a feature.

To understand this better, I commend you to visit one or all of our museum sites which are located at Wynnum, Charters Towers and also at the Workers Heritage Centre in Barcaldine. Our volunteers and staff are constantly developing these sites to present the stories and images of ambulance in Queensland over time."

Commissioner QAS

Our history in brief

Since the establishment of the City Ambulance Transport Brigade (CATB) on 12 September 1892, the original intent has prevailed through time and that is providing care and support to the sick and injured in the Queensland community.  By 1902 Queensland had transitioned from a colony to a state and the ambulance brigade had spread to a number of Queensland communities to become the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade (QATB).  Each local centre was administered by a QATB committee in conjunction with the State Council.  On 1 July 1991, the QATB was transformed into a state-administered service to become the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) as we know it today.

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Images courtesy of QLD State Library.

Museums and collections

QAS museums are located at Wynnum, Charters Towers and Barcaldine.  Queensland ambulance heritage and history is administered by volunteers through the office of the Commissioner, QAS.  The Queensland ambulance historical collection is owned by the QAS in perpetuity.

The QAS collection features:

  • 15 historical ambulance motor vehicles
  • ambulance wheeled litters and horse-drawn vehicle
  • a range of ambulance and other medical equipment
  • a large collection of photographs
  • official and original records of establishment
  • fundraising equipment
  • training and other historical films and tapes
  • patient care equipment and materials
  • training aids, manuals and equipment.

Images courtesy of QLD State Library.

History of the Queensland Ambulance book

Hard copies of the History of the Queensland Ambulance book is available for $15 + postage by contacting the Wynnum Museum on +61 407 117 916.

Please note that requests are processed and posted once a week.

Wynnum Museum

33 Tingal Road, Wynnum Qld 4178
Contact: Wynnum Local Ambulance Committee
Phone: +61 407 117 916

Wynnum Museum tours are by appointment only. Please telephone to make arrangements for a visit to the museum.
A visitor donation of $5 per person helps to maintain this important collection. Carers of a person with a disability and charter bus drivers are exempt from this request.

Charters Towers Museum

157 Gill Street, Charters Towers Qld 4820
Contact: Charter Towers Local Ambulance Committee
Phone: +617 4787 1478

Charters Towers Museum tours are by appointment only. Please telephone to make arrangements for a visit to the museum.
A visitor donation of $5 per person helps to maintain this important collection. Carers of a person with a disability and charter bus drivers are exempt from this request.

Australian Workers Heritage Centre

Ash Street, Barcaldine Qld 4725
Phone: +617 4651 2422

Visit www.australianworkersheritagecentre.com.au for opening hours and admission prices.

More social and ambulance history can be seen at http://www.highfieldspioneervillage.com.au/

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Last updated 7 August 2017

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