Honouring our volunteer heroes

Press Release

St John Chief Executive Officer Michelle Fyfe said volunteers provide significant contributions to the services St John delivers to the West Australian community.

“Our frontline consists of highly skilled clinical volunteers, qualified career professionals and thousands of first aid trained community members, all working to save lives in our communities,” Ms Fyfe said.

“Without these dedicated volunteers, St John would not be able to deliver the world class service it does.

“Volunteers are in engaged in a wide variety of roles with St John including community transport, event health, first aid training, events and youth engagement.”

“This year the overall winner of the Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Steve Douglas from Northam.

“The winner of the Young volunteer of the year went to Jeannie Wilson of Spalding in the Midwest.

“The award for Sub Centre of the year went to Broome and Volunteer Sub Centre of the year was awarded to Donnybrook.

“I’d like to congratulate all involved with these centres,” Ms Fyfe said.

Receiving awards for Volunteer of the Year 2019 are:

  • Steve Douglas of Northam (Country Ambulance) – overall winner

An experienced on-road volunteer, Steve has so far this year volunteered on 36 occasions and contributed 136 hours. Complementing this service, Steve has recently been innovative in developing and delivering a major volunteer retention program, as well as being the key driver in the creation of a Country Youth Ambulance Officer initiative. Steve’s ongoing efforts have ensured there is a local backup crew, and his contribution has seen many new officers successfully trained and integrated into his sub centre.

  • Karen Goodbody of Secret Harbour (Community Transport)

Karen is a dedicated Community Transport volunteer who has volunteered more than 1,200 hours of her time to ensure members of the community get to and from medical appointments and social activities. Often one of the first to respond to short-notice call-outs, Karen goes above and beyond the expectations of volunteering by assisting outside standard hours, not only to provide transports but to promote the service and recruit more volunteers.Karen strives passionately to ensure her clients, particularly the elderly, avoid social isolation through maintaining their community connections.

  • Thomas-Drake Brockman of Crawley (Event Health Services)

In his time with Event Health Services, Thomas has completed over 1,800 volunteer hours and 170 hours with Country Ambulance. He recently played an integral part along with Guy Barrington in developing the new Event Patient Care Record form, improving the way patient details and treatment are recorded. Thomas was also responsible for implementing the Volunteer Support initiative that provides on-road assistance to volunteers on duty. Not only is Thomas a committed to helping his community, he is also committed to supporting other volunteers and improving the volunteer experience for all members.

  • Carole Schelfhout of Glen Forrest (Heritage Centre)

Carole’s lengthy and varied interest in St John extends across all activities. Currently, for the Heritage Centre, she is working on a detailed history of all aspects of the Mundaring Division and Sub Centre (which closed in 2010), ensuring that its history and culture is not lost. Carole is a tireless worker, a dedicated and loyal member, and a truly excellent ambassador for St John, taking every opportunity to further its profile, values and cause.

  • Nicola Gibson of Woodvale (Volunteer Education)

Nicky’s role in volunteer development includes delivering engaging and welcoming induction sessions for her division’s new volunteers. On top of her field hours, Nicky trains her divisional peers weekly and presents regularly at Event Health Services recruitment sessions; sharing her on-the-job experiences in volunteering. Nicky has made a huge impact to the EHS volunteering community. Her energy, enthusiasm and optimism, along with her approachable and nurturing nature, ensure that the first experience of a new volunteer is a positive one.

  • Maureen Porter of Kingsley (Youth and Community)

Since joining Youth & Community as an Early Childhood Educator volunteer, Maureen has delivered the Triple Zero Hero storybook session to just over 500 young children aged 3 to 5. Described by her team as a warm and friendly, Maureen is an extremely active and consistent Early Childhood Educator Volunteer. Thanks to her service, St John is able to reach even more young children with our Triple Zero Hero program, which works towards making first aid a part of everyone’s life.

Receiving awards for Young Volunteer of the Year 2019 are:

  • Jeannie Wilson (Country Ambulance) – overall winner

Jeannie has proven herself to be a very committed Volunteer Ambulance Officer, averaging over 1,000 hours each year. A natural instructor and mentor, she is patient and thorough in coaching other volunteers during training and whilst actively treating patients. Jeannie is generous with both her time and her knowledge. Her bright and effervescent nature bring a sense of fun and ease to her sub centre. Jeannie can always be relied on, not only as an Ambulance Officer, but also as a true ambassador for St John.

  • Guy Barrington of Dalkeith (Event Health Services)

Guy has contributed over 1,300 volunteer hours with Event Health Services, on top of over 2,000 hours as a Volunteer Ambulance Officer. This does not include time spent mentoring and training cadets. He recently played an instrumental role along with Thomas Drake-Brockman in developing the new Event Patient Care Record form, improving the way patient details and treatment are recorded. Guy goes out of his way to make everyone in his division feel welcome. He continually looks for ways to make volunteering an easy and rewarding experience for all volunteers.

  • Rachel Chew of Leeming (Youth and Community)

Since joining Youth & Community, Rachel has attended on average four events per month. Described as a quiet achiever, Rachel’s role involves demonstrating first aid, encouraging the public to become first aid trained and being a warm and friendly face of St John. She played a crucial part in her team’s launch of the First Aid Skills Virtual Reality pods; assisting members of the community in using the new technology. Rachel was recently appointed Community Engagement manager of her division, and we look forward to seeing her leadership flourish.

“I would also like to acknowledge John Ree on 57 years of service and everyone else who received a commendation on the night,” Ms Fyfe said.

The 2019 Awards sundowner, held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, is a special night where St John is able to celebrate all of St John’s dedicated volunteers.

St John WA has 9,005 volunteers, and welcomes anyone passionate and community minded willing to volunteer and help serve the needs of people across the state.

Anyone interested in volunteering with St John can visit

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