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First Aid Focus reaches children disadvantaged by distance thanks to Telethon

Press Release
  • Channel 7 Telethon Trust’s $34,249 donation taught first aid to more than 10,500 remote, disadvantaged and vulnerable children, aged four to 17.
  • The funding also delivered a culturally diverse First Aid Focus workbook to address unique challenges faced by Meekatharra School of the Air students.
  • Consequently, some high school-aged students who undertook First Aid Focus workshops expressed interest in pursuing careers in the health sector.

More than 10,500 remote, disadvantaged and vulnerable children have benefitted from new ways First Aid Focus can teach them in community thanks to a $34,249 donation from Channel 7 Telethon Trust.

First Aid Focus is St John WA’s free in-school program offering age-appropriate first aid classes for Western Australian students ranging from pre-kindy to Year 12, ensuring they are empowered to take the right steps to save a life in the event of a healthcare emergency.

Telethon’s funding provided first aid training to 10 schools in remote communities mostly in the Pilbara and Mid West, reaching 3046 children disadvantaged by distance.

It was also invested in developing and delivering a culturally diverse workbook tailored for School of the Air students to address unique challenges faced, which fostered engagement in and out of the classroom.

First Aid Focus trainers also engaged with 7757 children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (as indicated by a Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas index below 1000) during the Perth Royal Show.

Beyond children – the majority aged eight to 11 – being directly aided were also the teachers, principals and deputy principals.

“Through this outreach, we have established strong relationships with teachers and principals in these remote communities who will be working closely with us to continue to pave the future for future growth and expansion of the First Aid Focus program,” said SJWA Social Sustainability Manager Angel Robins.

“Thanks to Telethon, this project has helped address educational disparities and fostering opportunities for growth and development within remote and disadvantaged communities by laying a foundation for sustained impact, contributing to the broader goal of promoting inclusivity and equity in education.”

Children learning first aid has a multiplier effect on families, with 1.5 parents also benefiting from their children’s on-shared knowledge and help during an emergency when another adult might not be around to assist.

Sadly, about one Western Australian child calls Triple Zero (000) for their parent or carer each month, meaning the educational program can be the difference between life and death.

“Beyond imparting valuable education, the program has sparked interest among high school-aged students to pursue careers in the health sector,” Chief Preventative Officer Megs O’Donnell said.

“This ripple effect is particularly impactful in remote communities, where reliance on volunteers and limited access to health services pose significant challenges.

“By inspiring young people to consider careers in healthcare, the program not only addresses immediate educational needs but also lays the groundwork for building a sustainable community, bridging the gap in essential services, and fostering a new generation of healthcare professionals.”

To learn more about First Aid Focus and partnerships with St John WA, visit here: https://giving.stjohnwa.com.au/partnerships

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