Flashing Lights Newsletter

The St John NT Monthly Newsletter

Flashing Lights Newsletter | St John Ambulance
2020 Mar

Message from the CEO

Welcome all to our Flashing Lights newsletter

Welcome to March, this month we celebrate International Women’s Day and recognise the contribution women are making towards ambulance services across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Working with our peak body, The Council of Ambulance Authorities, each state and territory has nominated women in their service who demonstrate strength and perseverance and are role models to our workforce.

It has been a pleasure working through the nomination process in the Northern Territory and seeing how many dedicated and professional people we have within our organisation. I would like to congratulate all of our nominees and thank you for the contribution you make to St John NT.

The 2020 NT nominees are: Jhouanna Maya, Katrina Smith, Nicole Johnston, Sara Gleeson, Shaye Quinlaan and Taleaha Dawson. All of the nominees will be featured on a special webpage from 9 March at www.caa.net.au, I encourage you to visit the site to learn more about these women and those from across the region in the ambulance sector.

I would also like to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of staff who have reached major anniversaries in their employment with our organisation over the last couple of months. As an organisation dedicated to caring for our community I am often reminded of how rewarding this job can be and trust that that is reflected in your years of excellent service.

Judith Barker, CEO St John NT


Coordinated health response

The outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the repatriation of Australian citizens from mainland China and Japan has once again demonstrated the important role Darwin plays in the region as well St John NT’s ability to provide vital services as part of a coordinated health response.

Well before the Australians were repatriated to Manigurr-Ma Village in Howard Springs for quarantine, St John NT was working with the Northern Territory Government and Emergency Services to develop a thorough understanding of the situation and plan for the response.

Ambulance Services Director Andrew Thomas explains that it has been important to keep all staff informed.

"We have taken a whole of organisation approach, making sure that all of our staff have access to current updates on the situation to ensure that we maintain confidence and dispel any misinformation."

St John NT paramedics have joined the AUSMAT medical team to meet with the passengers as they arrive as well as providing any additional transport which may be required for patients currently in quarantine.

"We have provided the highest standards of care for those arriving while following stringent health protocols. All of our staff have demonstrated exceptional leadership in our response and a commitment to the healthcare of the Territory," he said.

Celebrating excellent service

Celebrating major milestones provides an opportunity to reflect on one’s journey and the achievement we have made along the way. None less so than those achieved by two of our staff who recently celebrated milestone anniversaries with the organisation.

Starting as an Ambulance Officer Trainee 25 years ago and working his way through Intensive Care Paramedic training, Andrew Naden is now a Duty Operations Manager in the Southern Region.

“When I first met Andrew as a brand new Ambulance Officer Trainee, he was eager to learn, get involved, and ask a lot of questions," Regional Manager Paul Bellman shared. “Andrew has always been, and continues to be, a passionate and driven paramedic."

In the Darwin office, Senior Finance Officer Donna Peters celebrated 20 years with the organisation last week. Donna began her career as the Assistant to the Corporate Services Manager and went on to become the Senior Finance Officer. Donna was made a Member of the Order for St John in May 2012 for her valued contribution to the volunteers which included assisting with the Cadet Competitions and promoting St John NT at the show circuit.

"I love that St John NT gives me the opportunity to provide support to the community through my job," Donna shared. "St John NT has always provided me with great support to ensure that I grow in my professional capacity and as a person."

St John NT would also like to acknowledge the following anniversaries for staff from January until the end of March 2020:

15 years’ service
Peter Jones, Daniel Macmillan

10 years’ service
Nicholas Morgan, Aaron Brooks, Natalie McKeen, Robyn Orchard, Stuart Allison, Jeffrey Buteux

5 years’ service
Katrina Smith, Jaime Rowley, Danielle Leslie, Katherine Wheeler, Marlo Urquhart, Steven Schrieke, Isabel Burnup, Daniel Sanderson St John NT thanks these dedicated employees for their continued excellent service.

Wildlife rescue

While you have may have heard of the “station dog”, have you ever heard of the station joey?

In the Territory we pride ourselves on doing things a little different, a prime example being the Katherine crew when they added a few extra faces to their office last month.

Introducing rescued wallaby joeys Murphy, Chester and Wally who have received some extra special care from our Katherine paramedics. The agile wallaby joeys were collectively rescued from the Katherine region by Wildcare NT with the assistance of the Katherine Forth Street Vet. With the Katherine Ambulance Station’s longstanding history of caring for wildlife, as well as having three Wildlife NT volunteers who have the appropriate handling permits, it was an easy decision to leave the caring of the animals in the capable hands the Katherine paramedics.

"The team has been educated on how to properly feed and care for the wallabies when the primary carer is unavailable due to work," shared Paramedic Matt Craig, who has been facilitating the wallaby care. "This includes cleaning, toilet training, changing material pouches, and other general safety measures."

The team has been working together and following a strict schedule to ensure the joeys are given nothing short of high quality care. Though caring for three energetic joeys isn’t always an easy job, the Katherine crew has proven that their expertise and compassion extends further than just their human patients.


Maria's story - St John NT volunteers

Making a difference in the community is a great reason to get involved with St John NT, but for Maria Haralambis it was something more that inspired her to volunteer. As a mother, Maria was worried about her lack of first aid skills. She decided not to wait for an emergency to present itself and signed up as a volunteer to be trained by St John NT.

"Once I began volunteering, I realised how amazing it was to be a part of a team that saves lives and delivers care to people," Maria expressed. "The volunteers make a difference in people’s lives and help keep our community safe."

Nearly four years after first joining the St John NT volunteer team, Maria continues to provide first aid assistance at exciting events year round. She has not only continued to learn valuable life skills, but she has found a way to make an amazing impact in the lives of others.

St John NT offers a unique range of opportunities and experiences to volunteers, as it recognises, rewards, develops, and nurtures the growth of everyone. Volunteering for St John NT at any age guarantees learning new skills with nationally recognized qualifications and offers the opportunity to make a great contribution to the community.

If you are ready to start building your story with St John NT, contact us at (08) 8922 6295 or volunteers@stjohnnt.asn.au.

History snapshot by Frank Dunstan

Caption: Darwin Cadets outside the Cavanagh St. HQ, circa 1959

History snapshot

Darwin Cadet Division

This year is the 65th anniversary of Darwin Cadet Division.

The Darwin Ambulance Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade was formed in October 1952, and two short years later they formed a cadet division which had its registration sanctioned on 1st February 1955. They started with a Superintendent, Medical Officer and twelve cadets, comprising eleven girls and just the one boy.

The lone boy was Cadet Corporal Grant Tambling who later had a career in politics, serving in all levels of government, from the Darwin City Council, NT Legislative Assembly, NT Government, Federal MP for the NT, to Senator from 1987 to 2001. He was appointed Administrator of Norfolk Island, serving from November 2003 to August 2007.

The cadets’ first home for meetings was the St John Ambulance headquarters at Lot 305 Cavenagh Street, an old pre-war Chinese shop shared with the Boy Scouts, each having half of the building. This building was demolished in the mid-1960s and is now the site of the Darwin City Council chambers.

Did you know? – First Aid Advice

Did you know that areas that are strained or sprained should avoid HARM?

HARM stands for heat, alcohol, running (or other exercise to the area), and massage.

Sprains and Strains

Strains can be identified by a sharp, sudden pain in the region of the injury, loss of power, and/or muscle tenderness. Sprains are typically identified by intense pain, restricted movement of the injured joint, and/or rapid development of swelling and bruising.


Follow DRSABCD, apply RICE, avoid HARM, and then seek medical aid

Rest: rest the patient and the injured part.

Ice: apply an ice pack or cold pack for 15 minutes every 2 hours for 24 hours, then for 15 minutes every 4 hours for 24 hours.

Compression: apply a compression bandage firmly to extend well beyond the injury.

Elevation: Elevate the injured part.

Upcoming First Aid Courses

Parap, NT
Mental Health and Crisis Support (1 Day)
March 9th

Palmerston, NT
Remote Area First Aid (3 Days)
March 4th-6th
April 27th-April 29th

Alice Springs, NT
Remote Area First Aid (3 Days)
April 20th-22nd

Casuarina, NT
Manual Handling (1 Day)
April 20th

View all courses

History snapshot

Special offers

Introducing St John NT’s monthly special.

Each month we will be featuring and discounting first aid training courses on the Special Offers page of our website. Visit the First Aid Training section on our website for more information.

But wait there’s more!
We will also be offering a special giveaway with some courses.

For the month of March enrol in any HLTAID005 Provide first aid in remote situations course, and include 4WD in the Promo Code for your chance to win a AWD Off-Road First Aid kit. The winner will be drawn at 4pm on Tuesday, 31 March 2020.

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