History of St John



St John Started operating the Ambulance Service in the Northern Territory (specifically in the Darwin Region) in 1975 as a result of two major incidents in the 1974-1975 era. The first being Cyclone Tracy (Christmas Eve 1974) and the second being the lead-up to Self-Governance for the Northern Territory.

When Cyclone Tracy swept through Darwin, St John (at the time, all volunteers and still under South Australia Jurisdiction) was one of the major relief providers, providing ambulance transportation, first aid and a Casualty Clearing Station.

history2The next year (1975), saw the Northern Territory gain self-governance. The Legislative Assembly at the time was not ready, nor indeed, legislated to assume responsibility for health functions as large as an the Ambulance Service so the existence and experience of St John – ready to fill the void was a case of being in the right place at the right time.

In 1977 the formal handover of St John Jurisdiction from South Australia to the Northern Territory took place. Also in the same year, a financial appeal was put in place to build the new St John Main Headquarters (and Ambulance Station) at Casuarina.

The co-location of all emergency services communications to the Peter McAulay Centre in 1999 saw St John communications working alongside Police and Fire Service communicators in a World best practice environment.

St John took over the Ambulance Service from the Department of Health for the Tennant Creek & Barkley Region in 1979.