Flashing Lights Newsletter

The St John NT Monthly Newsletter

Flashing Lights Newsletter | St John Ambulance
2017 May

Welcome from the CEO | Ross Coburn


Welcome everyone to the Dry Season in the Top End and wintery conditions in the South. This month’s newsletter includes a number of events we have been engaged in over the last month and highlights the increase in workloads already this season.

The Golf Day was a fantastic success raising in excess of $25,000 for our Volunteers and will go a long way in providing them with the required products and supplies to be used at the public events they will provide first aid at throughout the year. A huge thank you to all our sponsors, prize and raffle donors and all the businesses that provided teams on the day – we had 28

teams of 6 and the feedback received has been very positive on an excellent day full of fun, laughter and networking. Thanks again to everyone involved and especially our Volunteers who assisted in the lead-up and on the day.

We also joined forces with fellow Emergency Services to help launch the Road Safety (Yellow Ribbon) Territory wide awareness campaign and it was great to have our media guru Craig Garraway feature well throughout the advertising programs. This is an important measure as we all attempt to educate drivers on the benefits of becoming better road users who are concentrating on the driving tasks relevant to the conditions and their own circumstances.

We had a lovely night at Government House for our annual Investiture and Awards ceremony and it was great to have public recognition of the extensive work our Volunteers perform and the work our Ambulance staff endure to further their skills and qualifications. A big thank you to the Administrator (our Deputy Prior), his wife and staff for the work they put in to make the evening such a success in a truly fantastic setting. It was pleasing on the night to recognise two members of the public who applied their first aid skills to save a life and to have them all together on the night was a touching part of the evening. Full details of this and the night are in article below.

In this issue we also celebrate and acknowledge the great work of Lesley King who has completed 40 years (yes 40 years) of Volunteer service with St John in the NT. Her story is one of resilience and commitment to the Community within which she lives and is well and truly worth the read.

I trust you enjoy this edition and for those in the Top End enjoy the upcoming Dry Season as well.

Best wishes, Ross 

Investiture & Save a Life Award


The 2017 St John Ambulance Investiture and Awards Ceremony was hosted by His Honour the Honourable John Hardy AO Deputy Prior and Mrs Marie Hardy Patron, on the Terrace at Government House on 17th May.

The ceremony is an opportunity for St John to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of staff and volunteers for years of service as well as for their academic achievements. The ceremony also recognised Admissions and Promotions within the Order of St John, where members are presented with medals and bars in recognition of their exceptional commitment to the organisation and to the Order of St John.

The Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of our members for their dedication and ongoing commitment on a variety of levels. It allows us to also acknowledge the efforts and hard work of those who have achieved Cert III and Cert IIII to enable them to carry out their roles to the highest level of quality and care, ensuring the best possible outcomes for our patients.

The ceremony also acknowledged the hard working and often-unsung heroes from our Communications centre, who manage the significant workload of 000 calls on a daily basis. These members were presented with certificates for successful completion of the Cert IIII Ambulance Communications (Dispatch), Cert III Ambulance Communications (Call Taking) and Cert III Basic Health Care (Ambulance). Well done to all who received these qualifications.

In addition to our internal awards, we also take the opportunity to recognise the valued contribution to the organisation by local businesses, who extend their support in a number of ways. This year we presented Paspaley and Variety the Children’s Charity with special certificates of appreciation.

A special highlight of the evening was the presentation of certificates for the Save a Life Award. These awards were presented to two members of the public who contributed to saving a life through the application

of First Aid skills and knowledge. The two first aiders along with the gentleman, whose life was saved, were present at the awards and this was the first time they had spoken to each other since the accident almost 12 months earlier. To view the full story, courtesy of Channel 9, click here.

St John Ambulance NT would like to congratulate all members who received awards and certificates and acknowledges the recipients who were unable to be present due to rostering commitments. 

Road Safety Week Campaign


Earlier this month, St John Ambulance, in conjunction with the NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Motor Accident Compensation Commission (MACC) proudly launched the 2017 Road Safety Week with the aim of improving road safety in the Northern Territory and reducing incidences of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. 

The key theme of the 2017 campaign is to reduce speed. Speed is a factor in a quarter of road deaths in the Territory. St John proudly supports this campaign by displaying a yellow ribbon road on all of our Ambulances. Ultimately road safety is everyone's responsibility. We must work together to achieve safer road use in the community. A major component of fostering behaviour change is increasing awareness of the problem and encouraging action to make our roads safer. 

St John Charity Golf Day


On the 5th of May we held our 3rd Biennial Charity Golf Day at the Darwin Golf Club. The day was a great success attracting 28 Teams consisting of 176 players from a large range of businesses across the NT. We are delighted to announce that with all the support received we raised over $25,000 on the day. All proceeds raised will benefit over 600 St John volunteers Territory-wide by contributing towards the provision of uniforms and valuable training equipment. This year’s supporters have ensured that our valued Volunteers will be able to continue to dedicate their time and services to provide care and first aid treatment at local community activities such as the markets, sporting events, festivals, concerts and outdoor functions. 

Players registered then enjoyed a gourmet lunch and drinks, prior to heading out on course for a shotgun start at 1 o’clock, for 9 holes of Ambrose style golf. Post play, prizes were awarded for the longest drive (male and female), nearest to the pin, best gross overall, and of course the NAGA award. Congratulations to Fuji Xerox and Mower World for taking the Best Gross and Best Net scores for the day. After all prizes were handed out the winner of the Chip in the Bucket was revealed. Impressively 2 players from the day were successful at chipping a golf ball into a Paramedic Helmet from outside the practice putting green. Some fantastic prizes were given out on the day, however, the elusive Hole in One remained out of reach. We thank Bridge Toyota and Arthur J Gallagher for assisting us to make this available for players to attempt. The day was rounded out by a hard fought auction for some fantastic prizes.

A special thank you goes out to the providers of some special features during the day. Wine tasting was made available to players, with the opportunity to sample wines from Piper Collective. Thank you to Kelly and Pat for making this possible. We were also fortunate to welcome Nick Jones from Movement for Life Physiotherapy as a special guest. Players were encouraged to use his services after spending the afternoon on course.

Thanks to all the players, the 40 prize, auction item and product sponsors as well special thanks to all of our volunteers (25) on the day. Without you, the day would not have been possible.

Thank you to all of those who put in the effort to make this another successful St John Fundraising event. 

National Volunteer Week


May 8th to the 14th marked National Volunteer week. The week has been flagged as an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers.

Commissioner Mark Ferguson presented the following thank you message to over 600 of our valued Volunteers via Facebook during National Volunteer week: 
Volunteers of the Northern Territory, this week marks National Volunteer week. On behalf of the board, CEO Ross Coburn, our Territory Officers Team and myself, we would like to say a big thank you to all of our Volunteers out there who have done an amazing job over the past year. We dedicated 45 915 volunteer hours, with our attendance at local community events. This is an amazing achievement. Fourteen members have committed over 500 hours just at public events, we also had twenty-one members contribute 250 hours at public events, and forty five members completed over 100 hours. This is an absolutely amazing commitment to our organisation. 

You, the volunteers, wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of your friends and family. We would like to send them a big thank you as well for

May has been a month of celebrations! 

giving up their time with you so that you may come and volunteer. Without the heart of our organisation, which are the volunteers, our organisation would not exist. We take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has ever volunteered for St John Ambulance in the Northern Territory. We are looking forward to another successful year. Thank you! May marked 40 years’ service as a Volunteer with St John Ambulance

Lesley King DStJ – 40 Years’ service as a St John NT Volunteer


The 26th of May marked 40 years’ service as a Volunteer with St John Ambulance in the Northern Territory by Lesley King, a remarkable achievement. 

Lesley joined Casuarina Combined Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade on 26th May 1977. She said that when applying to join that day, on stating that she was a Registered Nurse her membership was accepted immediately and the requirement to first complete an eight-week First Aid course was waived. 

Back then, volunteers crewed the ambulances on nights and weekends, with paid staff working 6.00 am to 6.00 pm on weekdays. Volunteer Ambulance Officers were required to have a current First Aid Certificate and a current Casualty Care and Transport Certificate, with annual re-examinations for both. Drivers were required to pass a Brigade Driving Test. However, when Lesley joined this was in the process of being replaced by a single Ambulance Officers Training Certificate, with the first course of five-month duration to commence in February 1978. Successful trainees would return to their Divisions as Ambulance Officers Grade 1. 

At a graduation ceremony held on Saturday 26th July 1978, Lesley King was awarded a trophy for ‘Dux of the Course’ by the Administrator, Mr John England.

Lesley came into this world in October 1937 in Port Augusta, South Australia. Her family lived in Whyalla and then Adelaide, and next moved to Kadina when she was about 12 years old. Lesley has worked in managerial roles for St John over many years, including District Nursing Officer, District Superintendent, Deputy Commissioner/ Territory Officer Cadets, and is currently the Territory Officer Fellowship. She is the very first, and only volunteer from the ranks to have been promoted through all the Grades of the Order of St John in the Northern Territory up to Dame of Grace, being gazetted DStJ on 25th November 2008, and invested on 2nd June 2010. All of our other Dames have either been Patrons or have come to the Territory in a senior Grade. Lesley was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2002 for service to the NT community, particularly in support of children and youth.

Congratulations Lesley and a sincere thank you for your 40 dedicated years of service. 

E-Newsletter sign-up winner


Congratulations to Geraldine, winner of the e-newsletter signup competition for April. Geraldine has won a Pink Personal Leisure kit valued at $38.00 RRP.

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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