Entirely online Experience delivers for St John WA staff and volunteers

Press Release
  • Almost 2000 members of the St John WA workforce tuned in to the annual St John Experience run entirely online,
  • The event pivoted to an online environment to be COVID-safe and protect the health and safety of staff and volunteers
  • St John WA CEO Michelle Fyfe thanked all staff and volunteers for embracing the change and connecting in an online forum.

St John WA wrapped up its annual St John Experience in August after two days of broadcast from the Perth Conference and Exhibition Centre.

The St John Experience has previously attracted thousands of St John WA staff and volunteers from across the State, but was cancelled entirely during 2020 due to the risks posed by COVID-19 for face-to-face events.

Plans for the 2021 event were well advanced and included 10 events over four days when the Delta strain of COVID-19 took hold in Australia’s eastern states, demonstrating that face-to-face events could still pose a significant risk to delivery of WA’s emergency ambulance service.

St John WA Chief Executive Officer Michelle Fyfe said as a result, decision was made to cancel all events and move the two-day State Conference to a virtual forum.

“Our annual Experience informs and inspires our many dedicated staff and volunteers on our past achievements and plans for the future, as well as thanking them for their dedication and service to the WA Community.  In the context of a very challenging 18-months of operations, it was a tough call to pivot the event to be online-only, but it was the right call,” Ms Fyfe said.

“I would like to thank our people who embraced the opportunity to connect together as one to watch our two-day State Conference.”

The conference was broadcast live on an internal streaming platform and will remain live for about a month to allow volunteers and staff who were working during the period to catch up.

A key highlight of the Conference was the annual awards for Volunteer and Sub Centre of the Year. Award winners were streamed live to accept their awards, recognising the remarkable work of people across the State:

In addition, St John WA showcased its Clinical Resources database which delivers mission-critical clinical information updated in real time to people working on the frontline in regional and remove Western Australia.

This year’s theme “From community, for community – Why actions speak louder than words”

Staff and volunteers exclusively watched both national and international speakers and were able to participate in an audience Q&A session, including:

  • Adventurer and documentary-maker Todd Sampson,
  • Infectious diseases expert and former Australian Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth,
  • Humanitarian and author Rabia Siddique,
  • Science presenter and author of The Clever Guts book, Michael Mosely.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook also addressed our audience and then joined event host Tim Gossage and Ms Fyfe to take audience questions.

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