Flashing Lights Newsletter

The St John NT Monthly Newsletter

Flashing Lights Newsletter | St John Ambulance
2016 Nov

Welcome from the CEO | Ross Coburn

Well the rain has finally arrived with a record month and I am positive we are all thankful for the change.

We have been busy again and the annual Volunteers Awards night was another great success under a new format that recognised our traditional ways blending in with modern Volunteer practices that we are working with to ensure our long term sustainability. Congratulations to all the winners and a special thanks to our Community donors who make the ceremony possible.

We were the recipients of a generous donation to our Volunteers from the Inpex fundraising committee that provided us with 19 new Defib units for our Volunteer vehicles and the full details are in the article later in the newsletter.

On Friday 11th we had a fantastic Donor recognition dinner thanking all our donors for their ongoing support and to provide details of all that we have delivered over the past year

because of their support. The venue this year was fantastic having the event in long term philanthropists John “Foxy” and Trish Robinson’s ballroom which was a fantastic venue that everyone enjoyed. Their hospitality was second to none.

Please keep your eye out for our annual calendar which forms a part of our full fundraising suite and to remember to be a part of our 2017 major fundraiser – The St John Ambulance Golf Day to be held on 5 May at the Darwin Golf Course at Marrara.

Our paramedics got into the swing of McHappy day in Katherine and this just highlights the Community involvement and support our staff provide and receive. The new St John Ambulance Station on the East side of town is progressing at a rapid pace and at this stage on-track for a Xmas finish with occupation in Feb or March 2017.

Thanks for your ongoing support of St John NT and with Xmas coming up please enjoy this time, stay safe and healthy and enjoy the celebrations with family and friends.

Until next time,

Best wishes, Ross 

Ichthys Workers Helping to Save Lives

A $38,000 donation from Ichthys LNG Project workers at the Manigurr-ma accommodation village in Howard Springs, has allowed St John Ambulance Volunteers to be better prepared to save Territorian lives in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.

St John Ambulance’s Territory-wide fleet of volunteer vehicles were able to replace their 19 automated external defibrillator units, with thanks to the money raised from workers living at the Project’s village in Howard Springs.

These First Aid vehicles are used at a large variety of community, social and sporting events all year round and with the updating of the AED units, volunteers now have reliable and current equipment to treat a cardiac arrest prior to an ambulance arriving. 

Director of Volunteer First Aid Services, Mark Ferguson said the donation was timely: “It allows us to replace our current ageing units which are no longer serviceable. We are extremely grateful for the support of all involved at the Manigurr-ma accommodation village for supporting our hard-working volunteers.”

INPEX’s Accommodation Project Manager, Steve Greene, said the “Ichthys workers residing at the village were proud to help Territorians with reliable and current equipment to treat a cardiac arrest.”

The Defibrillators were officially handed over at a presentation on 3rd November. 

Endowment Trust Appreciation Dinner – Thank you to sponsors

We recently held our Annual Appreciation dinner for our valued sponsors and supporters allowing us to recognise and thank them for the sponsorship and support given throughout the year by way of donations and in-kind support.

We were very fortunate this year to have a venue that will be difficult to beat. John (Foxy) and Trish Robinson generously opened their home to us and allowed us to take over their ballroom for the evening and guests were very clearly impressed. 

We are very fortunate to have a large number of local businesses who donate not only money but time and in-kind support to assist our volunteers Territory wide. The event allows us to share with sponsors

the achievements we have reached with their support and this year we were delighted to share our First Aid in Schools statistics. Our program has surpassed our goal of delivering age appropriate first aid to 12,000 school children over the financial year, to teaching 14,083 students which is a fantastic result, one we are aiming to exceed next year.

Special thanks to Foxy and Trish for being so generous with their home and also for the assistance given both on the day and in the clean-up following. We gratefully acknowledge our supporters for the night, Carlton and United Breweries, Prestige World Wines, Stuart Park Corner Store, Paspaley and Northern Rise Catering for the delicious meal. Your generosity for the night ensured all those who attended had a fantastic night. Thank you. 

If you would like us to visit your school, or would like more information on the FREE First Aid in Schools program, please call us on 8922 6205 or visit our website:

Hall of Fame

One of the highlights of the Endowment Trust Appreciation Dinner is to acknowledge the support of one or more of our long term supporters. This year we are delighted to welcome Paspaley to our Hall of Fame.

Paspaley have been a long term supporter of St John Ambulance, assisting to raise funds for our volunteers in a variety of ways. The first support was initiated in 2011, when Paspaley generously contributed a beautiful jewellery piece towards our major fundraising raffle, a tradition which has continued with each of our successive raffles. We 

are sincerely appreciative of this support, and aware that every fundraiser in Darwin knocks on their door for donations. Further support was extended to our last golf day in 2015, with the donation of some fabulous wines from their own Bunnamagoo Estate.

Of course, to achieve Hall of Fame status, you need to do more than just make a donation. The relationship extends further for us with Paspaley who utilise our first aid training facilities and other services, where profits from these areas directly benefit our volunteers. With the support of raffle prizes, wines and the use of our services, the funds we have been able to raise from these areas has enabled us to purchase valuable training equipment and train our volunteers in the use of this equipment, as well as the introduction of the new green uniforms you now see our volunteers wearing. The transition from the black and whites to green was a costly but necessary exercise.

St John is immensely grateful for the ongoing support and dedication of Paspaley who are generous supporters of not only St John but the Territory Community as a whole. I would like to say a special thanks to Jodi Linnett for ensuring we have been looked after with beautiful pearls for our raffles, your recommendations have always been perfect. 

Our Magnificent Paramedics

All too often, it is the heartbreaking stories you hear reported in the media, a life taken too soon and a grieving family struggling to deal with the aftermath. Paramedics recently were given a rare opportunity to revisit a case, when they met the family of a man they attended 12 months ago, sadly with an unsuccessful outcome but the family wanted to pass on their thanks to those involved. This is their story...

Rolling over in bed, Tamara Keane tried to wake her husband. It was time for Cliff to get up from work, but not matter what she did, he would not wake up. He was still snoring. She called 000 who instructed her to do CPR and sent paramedics and police. It became the job of those emergency services personnel to tell Mrs Keane her husband was brain dead and the snoring was just a body reaction. It took them a few goes for her to understand. That was a year ago today (13 November), now Mrs Keane wants to say thank you “they were so beautiful about it, so sensitive and so professional,” she said. 

“It was such a terrible thing to have to go through and to have that kind of support. I can’t even begin to say how much it makes a difference to getting through the day”.

For the first time since Cliff’s death, Tamara met Chris Mullen, Natalie McKeen and Sue-ellen Skinner (the 4th paramedic who attended Emily Mangoine, has since moved from Darwin). There were tears and there was laughter, but more than anything there was a sense of closure for all involved. 

“I have coped for the whole year but the last couple of weeks I have been having vivid dreams of that night,” Mrs Keane said. “To see these (the paramedics) in a

nice circumstance puts it all into place”. Until now, the paramedics haven’t known what the cause of death was. “It’s closure for us because we get to see the families coming out the other side”, Mr Mullen said. “The family is just as much our patient as the person we are called out to treat”.

“It’s not often we get the chance to meet them again for them to say thank you, and just one meeting makes

this job worthwhile”. Meeting families after the callout is not especially common for emergency services personnel. “We often get to meet the babies we have delivered and we sometimes meet the people we have saved, but it is rare to have someone say thank you for delivering the worst news possible,” Mrs Skinner said.

Article courtesy of Phillippa Butt, NT News Nov 13 2016. Click here to read the full story. 

Volunteer Awards and Recognition Night

The annual Volunteer Awards night was held at Darwin Hilton on the 19th November 2016. His Honour the Honourable John Hardy OAM Administrator of the Northern Territory, the Honourable Natasha Fyles MLA Minister for Health, His Worship the Mayor of Palmerston, Mr Ian Abbott, Mr Roland Chin Chairman St John Ambulance & St John Board Members were all in attendance.

The awards night started with cadets having a fun couple of hours playing games before presentations commenced. Grand Prior Badges. The Grand Prior Prince Richard the Duke of Gloucester is second to the Sovereign Head of the Order, Queen Elizabeth II. The first awards presented were the Grand Prior Badges. 

The Grand Priors Badge is a major achievement for a Cadet. To gain this badge a Cadet must earn 12 Proficiency Badges over at least 3 years. The recipients were: 

  • Lauren Coghill
  • Racquelle Paterson
  • Patrick Chow
  • Zoe Johnston
  • Gemma Gray
  • Hayley McLaughlin
  • Luke McLaughlin 

The second presentation was for the Southern Cross Award. St John Ambulance Australia launched this Award in 2008 and it is aimed at all St John members aged between 16 and 25. The Award has been designed to provide a flexible framework of personal development and achievement. There are 3 levels that can be achieved, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The recipient of the Bronze Southern Cross Award was: 

  • Sarena Hyland from Alice Springs Cadet Division 

Presentations for the Annual Awards were presented as follows: 

  • Adult Division of the year
  • Alice Springs Adult Division
  • Cadet Division of the Year
  • Darwin Cadet Division
  • Junior of the Year
  • Jack Knight from Alice Springs
  • Cadet of the Year
  • Jessica Longe from Alice Springs
  • Peter Falkland Youth Leader 2017
  • Leanne Eltagonde from Palmerston Cadets
  • Operational Support Person of the Year
  • Cate Driver Alice Springs
  • Adult Member of the Year
  • Fiona Reid from Tennant Creek and Maria Vescan from Darwin Adult Division 

It was a wonderful night that which would not be possible without the assistance of Mandy Paradise, Nadia Parker, Hailee Skinner, Kelly Raven, Joanna Bigwood and special thanks to Kevin Blake who was the MC for the night. The night would also not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors, Choices Flooring, Grice Group and KR Blacker. Thank you to all involved in making the night such a success. 

McHappy Day Antics in Katherine

Paramedics and Volunteers in Katherine proudly participated in the recent McHappy Day fundraiser at their local McDonalds on Giles Street on Saturday 19th November. St John members were kept very busy serving locals with Big Macs, fries and drinks and helped raise over $2000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charity which has 15 houses in Australia and has helped 68,000 families with over 1.2 million bednights. Every cent raised from McHappy Day events goes directly to support the houses. Well done to all those involved. The day this year raised $3.8 million worldwide. 

E-Newsletter sign-up winner

Congratulations to Jim Dalton, winner of the e-newsletter signup competition for October. Jim has won a Personal Motoring First Aid kit valued at $38.50.

Please pass our newsletter onto friends and colleagues and encourage them to join our mailing list, they will also go in the draw to win a Personal Motoring kit.

One winner will be drawn each month. 

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