Mr DULUK (Waite) (12:18): I move:
That this house—
(a) recognises the 135th anniversary of the establishment in Australia of St John Ambulance;
(b) acknowledges the significant contribution that St John Ambulance has made and continues to make
in support of the health and safety of every South Australian through the delivery of life-saving first
(c) acknowledges the invaluable contribution of St John Ambulance's highly skilled and qualified
volunteers who dedicate their time to delivering emergency first aid and community care services;
(d) acknowledges the important role St John Ambulance plays in strengthening emergency
preparedness, response and recovery across the state, including through its ongoing support of the
State Emergency Management Plan; and
(e) acknowledges the crucial first aid training St John Ambulance delivers, including through its First
Aid in Schools program.
This year marks 135 years since the commencement of St John Ambulance in Australia. I am honoured to be able to move and recognise this motion on behalf of this side of the house and to acknowledge the important contribution of St John Ambulance Australia.
St John is a self-funding not-for-profit organisation supporting the health and wellbeing of people all around Australia. It is Australia's leading provider of first aid services, training and equipment, and with 135 years of experience it is well known and trusted. It is probably one the most recognised volunteer organisations in Australia. I want to acknowledge each and every person who makes up the St John family, as they provide vital care and a wonderful service to so many within the community and dedicate their time to delivering emergency first aid and community care services.
In particular, I want to acknowledge the Chief Executive Officer of St John SA, Mr Michael Cornish, and Chair of the Board of St John Ambulance Australia SA, Ms Karen Limb, who are both in the gallery today. I want to mention His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, who is the Deputy Prior of St John Ambulance Australia SA and Knight of the Order of St John, even though His Excellency cannot be with us here today. These individuals represent St John Ambulance in our state, and they know the importance of the organisation to our community.
In 2017-18, St John SA attended more than 2,300 public events, treated more than 18,000 patients and contributed nearly 80,000 hours of service to first aid events. Today, as we celebrate International Volunteer Day, it is really important to acknowledge those 80,000 hours of service to first aid events. We cannot actually quantify the dollar value of that importance. These volunteers can often be seen at local events around the state, ready to support anyone who requires assistance. The Mitcham division of St John Ambulance was at the City of Mitcham carols at Kingswood Oval last Sunday, and they were doing fantastic work in my community.
The volunteers can be called upon under trying circumstances, but continue to do their job with integrity, respect, dedication and compassion. We all attend many events in our local electorates and throughout the community, and I am sure many of my colleagues have seen the important work of St John volunteers. I have no doubt that, with a really big event starting in the tomorrow (the Test match) the patience of many St John volunteers will be on show over the next couple of days. St John's contribution is immeasurable. The organisation has truly made an incredible contribution to the wellbeing of many South Australians.
While you might see St John volunteers at local community events, they also teach first aid— something I encourage everyone to learn—and provide first-aid kits. They provide community care services for elderly people and have a focus on young people with their national youth development program. Their services are not limited to Australia; they are also across the world. The organisation also funds and supports ophthalmic services at the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital and in East Timor. The international head of St John is of course Her Majesty The Queen, as our Sovereign.
Young people are a really important part of St John Ambulance. St John have a fantastic cadet program, which allows youths to learn important life-saving first aid skills, along with essential life skills including teamwork, communication and organisation. Being part of such a worthwhile program allows young people to build their confidence and self-worth. Skills are developed through different programs and, as young people grow, they can begin hands-on practice in first aid.
I know so many young people who joined St John as cadets and have gone on to pursue careers in nursing—as I know the member for Hurtle Vale has done—and medicine, and as paramedics and ambulance officers. The St John cadets program and its involvement with young people is very important. I know St John volunteers are always present at schoolies and they play a very important role. I have two St John Ambulance divisions in my community: Blackwood and Mitcham-Colonel Light Gardens. This Friday night at the Blackwood Christmas Pageant the Blackwood division will be providing fantastic community support, as well as marching in the pageant with their float.
On Monday night, I had the privilege to attend the Mitcham-Colonel Light Gardens cadet division award evening at Mitcham Reserve. It was fantastic to see many cadets learning the lifelong skills of first aid, teamwork and leadership. I congratulate all the award winners who received their awards and badges. It reminded me of my time in St John cadets. Believe it or not, for many years, I was a member of the Unley cadet division.
The Hon. A. Piccolo interjecting:
Mr DULUK: I was in uniform, member for Light. I made this remark on Monday night when I was talking to the cadet leaders and those involved in the corporal and sergeant courses of St John. The skills that are being imparted to young people today are certainly the skills that were imparted to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing the leadership course with St John Ambulance. I have no doubt that organisation and my experience there played some small role in helping me get here today, member for Light. I hope that I never have to put my first aid skills to saving your life, member for Light, because I do not know how it would go. For me, in some small way, I know that organisation exposed me to a lot of skills, teamwork and leadership that are so important.
Another important part that St John plays in my community is in the ANZAC Youth Vigil. Together with the Scouts, CFS and Girl Guides, my local St John cadets participate, not only from the first aid point of view but also in the civic volunteer life of our communities, which is important. By volunteering with St John, you can make a positive impact in your community. You can learn new skills, build strong relationships and work with emergency services to make a real contribution. When you volunteer with St John, you are part of a welcoming team that has the potential to change many lives. Every call-out is a new experience and potentially you can play a role in saving somebody's life. It is a very important organisation with a very proud history, not just in Adelaide but across the state.
One of the other programs the organisation looks after is its community care program with a special focus on supporting the elderly in our community. The program enables the elderly to live healthy, more fulfilling lives by participating in a range of activities. Volunteers assist older people in many ways in helping them to get to appointments and outings.
Of course, there is the First Aid in Schools program which is vitally important. St John SA launched its First Aid in Schools program as recently as 2013, and over 50,000 primary school children have been trained in crucial life-saving skills. A qualified St John trainer comes to a school to deliver a first aid course tailored for young kids. St John Ambulance Australia believes that every child in Australia should have access to vital first aid knowledge which is important.
Of course, there is the broader role that the organisation plays as part of the State Emergency Management Plan. The organisation and its volunteers are there during emergencies such as bushfires, storms and floods. As part of the State Emergency Management Plan, St John SA is integral to the functional service group, being ambulance and first aid. They are volunteers, and not just St John volunteers but all volunteers are ready to respond and work alongside emergency services during extreme events.
In closing, I thank St John Ambulance for the role it has played in South Australia for over 135 years, and over that time its role has changed. Many years ago St John members worked alongside the ambulance service, going out to day-to-day incidents on the road. In country areas, many ambulance stations are still manned by volunteers. Being that first point of call in first aid is important. Its proud history stretches to theatres of war, as it has provided stretcher services and the like.
Today, the modern St John is a first-class institution that provides a vital service for the South Australian community, one that goes along in its daily work providing its services. We call upon their services when we need them for a public event. They complement so much that we do in society, especially in the public sphere. At every Royal Show there are always plenty of St John cadets and adults volunteering their time. As a former member, I would like to thank them for their service and congratulate them on celebrating 135 years of service.