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Media Releases | St John Ambulance
Release of “About the Order of St John” by Mr Frank Dunstan CStJ
  06 Dec 2023

His Honour Professor the Honourable Hugh Heggie PSM, Administrator of the Northern Territory and Deputy Prior of the Order of St John and Ms Ruth Jones, Patron of St John NT met with Mr Frank Dunstan CStJ yesterday to officially launch his book “About the Order of St John”.

Frank is a Commander of the Order of St John and St John NT’s volunteer historian.

He has written four books, the last and final “About the Order of St John” is a handbook for the members of the Order of St John in the Northern Territory.

In his own words, Frank was inspired to write the book because he noticed that “few members of the Order knew anything about the Order” himself included.

As an organisation steeped in history, the handbook includes an explanation of the grades of the Order, the robes and medals and Investiture ceremonies held in the Northern Territory.

As Patron of St John NT, Ms Ruth Jones said it was an honour to officially launch the handbook.

“This book will provide valuable insight into the rich history of the Order and assist new members understand the origins of the ambulance and first aid movement which dates back to the hospital of Jerusalem in the 11th century.

“I would like to thank Frank for his dedication to St John and trust that his memory will live on through not only this piece of work but also his previous books which have also captured the history of St John in the Northern Territory,” she said.

Frank first came in contact with St John when he enrolled in a First Aid course in 2001 which ended in him being invited to join as a volunteer. Frank signed up with the Darwin Adult Division before moving to the new Humpty Doo Adult Division, where he became the inaugural Divisional Superintendent and in 2002 was awarded the Adult Volunteer of the Year and the Humpty Doo Division was named Adult Division of the Year.

In 2006, he was no longer an active member but agreed to become an affiliate member and took on the role of writer and editor of the Vollie News.  A publication that Frank tirelessly composed every week for over 12 years, issuing almost 600 editions documenting the life and work of the volunteers across the Territory. These newsletters were highly anticipated each week and have become a valuable part of St John History.

In total Frank has now written four books dedicated to the Order of St John.

Frank has dedicated over 25 years to volunteering within the Territory community, between Bushfires NT and St John NT, he has tirelessly devoted thousands of hours and was honoured with a number of awards for his dedicated service.

Previous publications:

  • Awkward Hours, Awkward Jobs, 2013
  • Order in the Territory, 2019
  • Order in the Territory (updated) and Roll Out the Red Carpet, 2021.

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